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JANUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER


RED WINES


OREGON

2014 Swick Wines, Pinot Noir, Fairsing Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon (S) 26.99/291.49

Since 2003, Joe Swick has plied his trade with some of the most famous names in California, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Portugal, and Piedmont before returning home to Oregon and setting up his eponymous winery in the Dundee Hills. Swick’s newly released Fairsing Vineyard Pinot casts a lovely crimson-garnet hue followed by bright, high-toned aromas of rhubarb, cranberries, menthol, and loamy earth. Earthy on the palate, fine tannins and food-friendly bitterness mingle with suggestions of cranberries, cherry skin, cinnamon, bay leaf, and star anise. Vibrant and energetic, Swick’s Fairsing Pinot finishes long and savory with notes of crunchy cranberries, pomegranate, tobacco, and earth. Light and graceful on the palate yet packed with a deep, earthy core of red berry fruit, Swick’s Fairsing Pinot Noir begs for hearty winter stews, and robust mushroom risottos. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years.

2015 Broadley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 15.99/172.69

For over twenty years in the southern-most, warmest and driest sector of the Willamette Valley, Broadley Vineyards has been consistently crafting exemplary Pinot Noirs. Broadley’s vibrant and fruit-forward 2015 Willamette Valley cuvee – crafted from a blend of grapes bought from the Valley’s top vineyards – opens with a brilliant saturated ruby robe and deep aromas of Bing cherries, licorice, and Chinese fivespice. Juicy and fleshy on the palate, fine tannins envelop a core of fleshy cherry and red currant fruit accented by suggestions of violets, baking spices, and rose petals. Tannins pick up on the wine’s finish, framing its dense, chewy fruit expressions and adding a pleasant bitterness to make the wine especially food friendly. Broadley’s 2015 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

2013 Joseph Drouhin, Chorey-les-Beaune, Burgundy, France (B) 25.99/280.69

Drouhin’s 2013 Chorey-les-Beaune charms like the transparent red Burgundies of yesteryear. 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. As value-seeking Burgundy lovers ourselves, we find that we’re recommending and enjoying Chorey more than ever, as it’s undoubtedly one of the Cote d’Or’s finest sources of affordable, authentic, soil-driven reds. Every year the great Maison Joseph Drouhin produces a superb Chorey from its own biodynamically farmed vineyards. Showing a gorgeous, transparent garnet color, the wine beguiles with soft, elegant aromas of violets, loganberries, and cranberries. On the palate, Drouhin’s Chorey conveys a silky, filigreed texture. Complex suggestions of game, rose petals, and salty minerals segue to a long, delicate finish of limestone-infused cherry fruit framed by soft, ultrafine tannins and brightening acidity. Enjoy this special Cote d’Or value now and over the coming decade with light chicken recipes, grilled sockeye salmon or arctic char, and vegetable souffles. Only sixteen cases available.

2014 Domaine du Moulin, Gaillac, Southwest France (S) 9.99/107.89

Gaillac is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in France. Domaine du Moulin’s 2014 Gaillac – a blend of equal parts indigenous Duras and Syrah – presents a translucent plum-ruby color followed by aromas of crushed blackberries, menthol, licorice, and graphite minerals. Fusing the rustic pepperiness of the Duras with the leathery, gamy notes of the Syrah, Domaine du Moulin’s Gaillac graces the palate with blackberry and wild cherry fruit infused with perfumed soil, wood bark, peppery salumi, licorice, and menthol. The wine finishes long, graceful, and harmonious far beyond its price point. Enjoy now and over the next three years with herbed rack of lamb, roast goose, hearty vegetable casseroles featuring rosemary, or rib roasts of beef. Awarded the coveted Medaille d’Or for Gaillac Rouge at the Concours des Vins du Sud-Ouest in Toulouse.

2014 Jean-François Garlon, Beaujolais, Cuvee Reserve, France (S) 13.50/145.80

Tradition-minded vigneron, Jean François Garlon, fashions delicious, soil transparent Beaujolais of elegance, structure and age-ability. Garlon’s 2014 Cuvee Reserve – from vineyards in the Pierres Dorees sector of southern Beaujolais – casts a brilliant purple ruby robe and pure Gamay aromas of fresh cherries, red currants, black pepper, and dried herbs. Herbal, appetizingly stemmy and conveying an almost Burgundian structure, Garlon’s Beaujolais enlivens the palate with a bristling, energetic kernel of wild cherry, red raspberry, and red currant fruit complicated by notes of rose petals, herbs, and smoky minerals. Long, tangy, and appetizing, the wine finishes with buoying acidity, fine tannins, and limestone dust. This is Beaujolais of depth, character, and value. Enjoy this impressively pure and delicious Beaujolais now and over the next five years with broiled salmon, roast chicken, pork chops, grilled hamburgers, bœuf Bourguignon, and rich mushroom dishes.

2015 Domaine de Fenouillet, Ventoux, Southern Rhone Valley, France (O)
13.99/151.09

Brothers Patrick and Vincent Soard own and operate the impeccable Domaine de Fenouillet, based in the hallowed village of Beaumes de Venise. The Ventoux AOC, named for Mont Ventoux, is located 25 miles northeast of Avignon and features many of the same grape varieties as the Southern Rhone Valley. Fenouillet’s 2015 Ventoux, a blend of Grenache (75%), Syrah, and Carignan, casts a translucent purple ruby robe followed by aromas of Provençal cherries, smoked game, bay leaf, and arid, stony terroir. Chewy and substantial, the wine stains the palate with deep expressions of black cherry and brambly blackberry fruit accented by suggestions of bitter orange peel, herbal garrigue, cinnamon, and cloves. Fine tannins frame the wine’s dense but fresh fruit expressions and segue the Ventoux to a long, spicy, and herbal finish. This is a superb and smartly priced selection from Neal Rosenthal’s exemplary portfolio that will pair well with grilled and roasted meats during the coming cool weather and over the coming three years.
-A Neal Rosenthal Portfolio selection

ITALY

2011 Tenuta Sella & Mosca, Alghero DOC, Tanca Farra, Sardinia, Italy 22.99/248.29

Fusing indigenous varietals, modern vinificaiton, and progressive experimentation, Sella & Mosca is unquestionably Sardinia’s leading estate. The estate’s Tanca Farra – which translates to English as “iron earth” – is a terrific blend of equal parts indigenous Cannonau (aka Grenache) and Cabernet Sauvignon. This ferrous soil profile infuses the wine with a compelling terroir expression and amazing complexity. A black-garnet color with crimson highlights, the 2011 Tanca Farra casts ripe aromas of black currants, figs, earth, smoke, and licorice. Broad, rich, and fleshy on the attack, the wine stains the palate with rich black fruits imbued with the smoky ferrous soil signature and hints of cured meats, leafy underbrush, and game. Barrel notes of dark roasted coffee and plentiful, chewy tannins emerge on the wine’s long, soil-driven finish. This is an impressive, soil-expressive wine and a compelling reason to explore the vinous treasures of Sardinia. Pair with assertive sausages, salumi, braised rabbit, rich game dishes, hearty pastas and pizzas, as well as roast lamb and beef. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years.

2012 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. Translucent plum ruby, Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso – a classic Montefalco blend of Sangiovese (60%), Merlot (25%), and Sagrantino – opens with generous aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, sassafras, and licorice. Firm on the palate with brisk acidity and plentiful fine tannins, the wine expresses suggestions of tobacco, tar, plums, and graphite minerals. Vibrant and pulsing with energy, Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso finishes with reprises of tobacco-tinged black fruits, leafy suggestions of tobacco and cedar, and medicinal herbs. Balanced and authentic, Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso is poised for a long evolution in your cool cellar, but will pair well now with richer fare like pork ribs, burgers, game, pastas, and risottos topped with pecorino romano.

2013 La Bioca, Barbera d’Alba, Zabalda, Piedmont, Italy 13.50/145.80

La Bioca’s Zabalda offers everything we relish in great Barbera: bright cherry and plum fruit, juicy acidity, overtones of smoke and licorice, and just enough fine tannic structure to achieve harmony and balance. The La Bioca estate boasts superb vineyards in both Barolo and Barbaresco, including great crus Ronchi, Secondine, Croera, Ravera and Bussia. La Bioca’s Barbera vines are planted in Monforte d’Alba’s San Sebastiano vineyard, whose cool, western exposure ensures that the Barbera obtains full ripening through long hang time while preserving the Barbera’s inherent acidity. Aged primarily in large, old neutral-oak botte, this is old-school Barbera reminiscent of the kind one gets by the carafe in the best caffes and osterias in Piemonte. Juicy, tangy, and made for drinking, enjoy now with burgers, mac ’n cheese, carne cruda, pizza, pastas with a long simmered ragù, earthy mushroom risottos, or just about anything that calls for brisk, transparent, uncomplicated, and utterly delicious red wine.

PORTUGAL

2014 Luis Seabra Vinhos, Xisto Ilimitado, Douro, Portugal (S) 21.99/237.49

After a decade as Niepoort’s winemaker, Luis Seabra followed his own star to craft wines “that really tell you where they come from: wines from specific vineyards with minimal intervention, wines that are true and honest, raw and pure.” A blend of 35- to 55-year-old vine Touriga Franca (30%), Tinta Amarela (20%), Tinta Roriz (20%), Rufete (10%), Tinta Barroca (10%), Malvasia Preta, and Donzelinho Tinto grown on schist up to 2,000ft., Seabra’s Xisto Ilimitado casts a bright ruby in the bowl followed by dusty Anjou rouge-like aromas of bitter cherries, cassis, tar, and smoky schistose minerals. At a lovely 12% alcohol, the wine is light-as-a-feather on the palate, yet packs a mouthful of saturated currant, cherry, and cranberry fruit accented by fine food-friendly tannins and hints of dried herbs, licorice, and Ceylon black tea. Zesty, refreshing, yet well structured and full of flavor, Seabra’s Xisto Ilimitado finishes with a persistent lashing of dusty schistose minerals (hence the name). Enjoy now and over the coming seven years with roast rack of lamb, grilled burgers, braised rabbit, and mushroom and potato tapas.


WHITE WINES


FRANCE

2015 Andre Dezat & Fils, Sancerre, Loire Valley, France 19.99/215.89

We are unabashed devotees of Dezat’s wines and are thrilled to present Dezat’s gorgeous Sancerre for the fifth consecutive vintage. Dezat’s 2015 Sancerre is a blockbuster: gleaming with a medium lemon-gold color followed by aromas of kiwi, papaya, passion fruit, freshly cut grass, and flinty minerals. On the palate, the wine alternates waves of juicy citrus and exotic tropical fruits alongside classic Sancerre overtones of white pepper, basil, and mint. On the finish, Sancerre’s inimitable chalky minerality emerges and segues the wine to its long, juicy, lingering finish. This is one superb mouth-watering and intense Sancerre, and at under $20 it is a rare Sancerre value. Buy this by the case and enjoy now and over the coming three years with fresh chevres, poached freshwater fish dishes, oysters, clams, mussels, grilled squashes, and as a top-shelf reward for a hard day’s work.

2015 Domaine des Forges, Chardonnay, Anjou, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, Loire Valley, France (S) 9.50/102.60

We love this wine for its charm, its intense mineral undercurrent, and its utter uniqueness. In the exemplary 2015 Loire Valley vintage, Domaine des Forges’ Chardonnay conveys a broader texture, a more intense palate presence, and a deeper mineral expression. Appellation laws stipulate that Chardonnay is permitted in the Anjou only as a minor blending varietal, which is why this 100% Chardonnay must carry the humble Vin de Pays designation. A vivid lemon-gold in the glass, Domaine des Forges’ Chardonnay is fragrant with almond blossoms, Meyer lemon, peach, and the assertive schistose minerality one often finds in the finest Savennieres. On the palate, the wine is bone dry, richly textured and incisive – think of it as a Chablis grown on schist. Serve this beauty over the coming twelve months as a superb compliment to oysters, scallops, mussels, sole, trout, sauteed green leafy vegetables, and mild cheeses.

2014 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 deliciously Macon’s clay and limestone minerality and buttressing it with a sappy core of lemony Chardonnay fruit. A lovely pale gold color in the glass, Drouhin’s 2014 Macon-Villages opens with classic white Burgundy aromas of meadow flowers, roasted hazelnuts, buttery lemon curd, and soft limestone minerality. The wine’s minerality carries through to the palate where it joins with notes of sweet butter, brioche, lemon zest, and apple blossoms. Crisp, focused, and again emphasizing its persistent soil expression, Drouhin’s 2014 Macon finishes with reprises of freshly squeezed lemon, soft vanilla, and a final wave of limestone minerals. It will make a wonderful complement now and over the coming three years for roast chicken, pork, halibut, and snapper.

2014 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Pouilly-Fuisse, Terroirs, Burgundy, France (S) 19.99/215.89

Pouilly-Fuisse is the Maconnais’s finest appellation, and Sangouard-Guyot captures the full-bodied richness, buttery texture, and golden minerality that mark the finest and most sought-after examples. A bright lemon-gold color in the glass, Sangouard’s 2014 Terroirs cuvee – from several sites around the town of Vergisson – expresses its southern Burgundian origins with aromas of buttery lemon curd, pate brisee, and Marcona almonds. Impressively rich on the palate, Sangouard’s Terroirs effortlessly employs its persistent mineral undercurrent and brisk acidity to focus its buttery core of lemon, honeydew melon, and juicy peach fruit. Vinified in old, neutral barrels, the wine’s vivid, smoky, clay-limestone expression complements and lifts its suave Chardonnay fruit. This is simply superb white Burgundy and a terrific value. It will wow as a welcome wine with hors d’oeuvres, and serve as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, or blanquette de veau. Sangouard-Guyot Pouilly-Fuisse Terroirs will also reward several years of aging in your cool cellar, yielding additional toasty brioche and roasted almond notes.

2009 Domaine Ernest Burn, Riesling, Alsace, France (S) 19.99/215.89 reg. 23.99

The Burn family traces its Alsatian winegrowing roots back over 300 years. Ernest Burn, one of the pioneers of post-World War I Alsace, founded his winery by reestablishing historic vineyards in his village of Gueberschwihr that had either fallen into disrepair or were not being farmed to their full potential. Burn’s crowning achievement is the reconstruction and replanting of the iconic twelve-acre Clos St. Imer within the grand cru Goldert vineyard, the source of his greatest wines. This is the domaine’s estate Riesling, a wine of impeccable clarity, delicacy and elegance. A brilliant lemon-gold with lime green highlights, Burn’s Riesling bursts from the glass with candied lemon, Williams pear, and yellow peach fruit complemented by delicious notes of honeysuckle, smoke, and petrol-ly minerals. Full and fleshy on the palate yet palpably dry, notes of Sultana raisins, licorice root, and clover honey are buoyed by lemony acidity. Salty minerals dust the palate as the wine finishes with delicious suggestions of dried apricots, quince, and lime zest. This is quintessential Alsatian Riesling that with seven years of age is just hitting its stride. Buy a case to pair now and over the coming decade with roasted poultry, rich potato recipes, choucroute garni, vegetable souffles, and raie a la grenobloise.

2015 Chateau d’Archambeau, Graves Blanc, Bordeaux, France (S) 15.99/172.69

Chateau d'Archambeau is located in the commune of Illats between Barsac and Cerons. The vineyard’s slopes feature deep, gravelly soil that is ideal for the cultivation of the classic Bordeaux varietals. Crafted from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Semillon, Archambeau’s 2015 Graves blanc glows with a medium gold color and rich, exotic aromas of papaya, ginger, quinine and yellow rose petals. Lemony and mineral-driven on the palate, Archambeau’s blanc presents a full, ample palate texture with deep expressions of yellow apple, Meyer lemon, pear skin, tarragon, and wintergreen. Fresh and energetic, the wine finishes with notes of white grapefruit, muskmelon, gravelly soil, ginger, and chervil, all driven by a persistent undercurrent of gravelly minerals. A terrific value in full-bodied white Bordeaux, make this your cool weather white and enjoy it with gusto over the coming two years with fresh chevres, poached salmon, oysters on the half shell, pasta with a light shrimp and scallop sauce, pan-seared pork chops, green salads, and white asparagus.

2015 Bedouet, Muscadet, Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France (O)
11.50/124.20

Pale lemon-gold in the glass, Bedouet’s Le Domaine cuvee soars with salty, mineral-driven aromas of preserved lemons, bay leaf, and sweet hay. The Bedouet domaine originates in 1899 with Henri Bedouet, who excelled as both a cooper and a vigneron. Today Henri’s grandson, Michel, continues the family tradition of excellence by farming organically and vinifying gently to al-low his domaine’s gneiss and mica-schist soils to imbue the wine with pure minerality. Full and ample on the palate, the wine’s texture is satisfyingly broad with suggestions of fennel seed, tarragon, and lemon balm lifted by crunchy acidity and marine im-pressions of salty sea air and freshly shucked oysters. Long and lip-smackingly delicious, the wine finishes extraordinarily fresh, vivacious, and clean, perfect served with oysters, clams, mussels, or Dungeness crab. Gorgeous Muscadet, and a very impressive value.

ITALY

2015 Marotti Campi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore, Luzano, Marches, Italy (S)13.99/151.09

Verdicchio is central Italy’s most distinctive white varietal, especially when it hails from the mineral-rich soils of the Castelli di Jesi’s Classico Superiore zone just miles from the Adriatic Sea. Marotti Campi’s 2015 Luzano Verdicchio opens with a bright lemon-gold color and complex aromas of acacia blossoms, crushed lentils, sugar snap peas, white pepper, and flinty minerals. On the palate, the Luzano combines fleshy apricot, fleshy pear, and golden apple fruit with a shimmering acid backbone and suggestions of earthy lentils, spicy ginger, and caraway seeds. Packed with extract, palate-staining and uncompromisingly dry, the Luzano finishes with reprises of lentils, orchard fruits, and menthol – all lifted by insistent minerality and acidic spine. A bitter almond skin note lingers on the palate as you prepare your next bite of roast pork, baked chicken, freshwater fish, and recipes featuring squashes. Serve this superb and special Verdicchio now and over the coming three years.

2015 Cantine Segesta, Bianchetta Genovese, Segesta Tigulliorum,
Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino, Liguria, Italy 14.99/161.89

Sestri Levante, or Segesta Tigulliorum in Latin, is an ancient maritime town situated on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea about 35 miles south of Genoa. Here Sergio Sanguineti traditionally vinifies a 100% Bianchetta Genovese that smells like fresh sea breeze and begs to be paired with seafood. A deep golden color in the glass, Sanguineti’s Bianchetta opens with fascinating aromas of fresh tangerine, lemon thyme, wet stones, and salty seaweed. Full and ample on the palate, the wine’s insistent saline mineral undercurrent propels impressions of bitter orange peel, quince, iodine, and camphor. Long and salty on the finish, Sanguineti’s Bianchetta leaves a salty dusting of minerals on the lips and cheeks alongside final hints of orange peel, quinine, sorrel, and candied lavender. This is a fascinating wine and the season’s go-to selection for all things seafood, especially swordfish and tuna. It will also pair well with pastas dressed in a basil pesto sauce. Enjoy now and over the next three years.

LINER & ELSEN
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Portland, OR 97210
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STORE HOURS:
Mon.-Sat. 10am - 6pm

HOLIDAY HOURS:
Dec. 31 - We close at 5:00 pm

CLOSED: Winter Break
Jan. 1-5
Re-open Friday, Jan. 6


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

Jan. 6
Let’s start the New Year right with a tasting of Chateauneufs-du-Papes

Jan. 13
Highlights from Barbaresco

Feb. 3
Great Reds and Whites from Portugal!


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

Dec. 31
Sparkling wines and Champagne all day long!

Jan. 7
Wines of France:
Andre Dezat Sancerre, Dom. des Forges Chardonnay, Sangouard-Guyot Pouilly-Fuisse Terroirs, Jean-François Garlon Beaujolais, and Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune.

Jan. 14
From Oregon:
Swick Wines Pinot Noir Fairsing Vineyard, and Broadley Vineyards Pinot Noir. European Tour: Dom. Ernest Burn Riesling (Alsace), and Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Ilimitado (Portugal).

Jan. 21
Tutti Italia:
Cantine Segesta Bianchetta Genovese, Marotti Campi Verdicchio Luzano, La Bioca Barbera d’Alba, Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso, and Sella & Mosca Tanca Farra.

Jan. 28
French beauties:
Le Domaine Bedouet Muscadet, Ch. d’Archambeau Graves, Joseph Drouhin Macon-Villages, Dom. du Moulin Gaillac, and Dom. de Fenouillet Ventoux.

 

 


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.