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OCTOBER 2018 NEWSLETTER

 


LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET FRANC SAMPLER

187.09 / case   reg. 207.88

Our newest wine sampler comes from the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny and Chinon, the sites of some of the planet’s finest Cabernet Franc. Each of these uniquely different and superb Cabernet Francs is a distinct expression of terroir. The sampler contains four bottles of each selection:

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2016 Vincent Wine Company, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 18.99/205.09

We’re delighted to feature the newly released 2016 Vincent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. The wine casts a lovely rusty crimson-ruby robe followed by cool aromas of black raspberries, earthy rhubarb, cranberry, and loamy earth. The wine’s cool, deft palate reveals a crunchy kernel of black raspberry and sour cherry fruit followed by complex suggestions of cinnamon, wintergreen, cloves, nutmeg, tobacco, and subtle fine tannins. Zesty and vibrant, the Vincent 2016 Pinot finishes with reprises of freshly crushed red berry fruit. A wonderful autumnal red and an ideal Pinot to grace your Thanksgiving table, it will also gain texture and complexity with three to five years in your cool cellar.

  Pre-arrival offer due November 1st:
2015 Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Pinot Noir, Laurene, Dundee Hills, Oregon 64.99/666.79

The 2015 Domaine Drouhin Laurene is superb, and any fan of DDO and Oregon Pinot Noir will be thrilled with this wine! Unfortunately the vintage was limited in size, and therefore our allocation of this highly sought bottling from Drouhin will also be limited. Order your case now!  
Read tasting notes and scores here

FRANCE

2015 Abbaye Sainte Eugenie, Corbieres, Nine Dimoni, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 9.50/102.60

The rugged landscape of Corbieres, just north of Narbonne, produces some of the Languedoc’s wildest and most characterful wines. The vineyards of the Abbaye Sainte Eugenie estate wrap around a former abbey established in 817. Based on a classic cuvee of 70% Carignan (from 75-year-old vines) Mourvedre, and Syrah, the Abbaye’s delicious 2015 Nine Dimoni reflects an opaque black plum robe and zesty aromas of blackberries, cassis, black pepper, leather, and Provençal herbs. Rich, suave, and lively on the palate, the Abbaye’s saturated core of blackberry fruit fuses with complex suggestions of violets, mushrooms, cinnamon, garrigue, and black licorice. Supple, chewy tannins and buoying acidity segue the wine to its peppery, herb-tinged finish, which readies your palate for another forkful of ratatouille, grilled sourdough bread slathered with garlicky tapenade, lamb, or roast pork shoulder. Enjoy this sumptuous and savory Corbieres now and over the coming three years.

2016 Domaine la Roubine, Sablet, Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, La Grange des Briguieres, Rhone Valley, France (S) 16.99/183.49

This is a serious, savory, and terrifically affordable rouge that will satisfy the soul of Southern Rhone aficionados. Situated at the foothills of Dentelles de Montmirail, Sablet is known for its sand and clay soils that produce generous, precocious, mouth-filling wines. Domaine la Roubine’s cuvee of Grenache (70%), Syrah (25%), and Cinsault shines in the critically acclaimed 2016 vintage with a saturated black cherry hue in the glass followed by classic aromas of black cherries, cassis, crushed herbs, and vine smoke. Juicy and fleshy on the attack, appetizing tannins appear mid-palate to frame the wine’s dense core of cherry, plum, and currant fruit. Long, chewy, and mouthcoating, the wine finishes with further accents of boysenberries, herbs, tar, leather, and tobacco. This wine will perform admirably in the company of higher priced wines from Vacqueyras, Gigondas, and even Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy now or over the coming five years with herb-crusted lamb, grilled burgers, ratatouille, rosemary-scented chicken, and hearty braises.

2016 Domaine du Moulin, Gaillac, Southwest France (S) 10.50/113.40

Known for blending distinctive indigenous vines with Bordeaux and Rhone varieties, Gaillac is one of France’s most exciting and dynamic regions. Domaine du Moulin’s 2016 Gaillac – a blend of equal parts indigenous Duras and Syrah – presents a translucent plum ruby color followed by aromas of crushed blackberries, menthol, violets, and graphite. 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 piquant, spicy soil, wood bark, game, licorice, and menthol. The wine finishes long, graceful, and harmonious far beyond its price point. Enjoy this distinctive Southwestern French rouge now and over the next three years with herbed rack of lamb, roast goose, rib roasts of beef, and hearty rosemary-scented vegetable casseroles.

2016 Thevenet & Fils, Bourgogne Rouge, Les Clos, Burgundy, France 18.99/215.89

Jean-Claude Thevenet’s superb Macon and Saint-Veran always resonate with our discerning Burgundy clientele. This month we’re honored to be able to present Thevenet’s sole red wine, sourced from a superbly situated single vineyard called Les Clos 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, Thevenet’s Les Clos 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. This is gorgeous, soil-driven, single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the southern reaches of Burgundy and a steal for its modest tariff. Pair now and over the next three years with poultry, pork, stews, and rich recipes featuring morel mushrooms.

2010 Chateau Larose-Trintaudon, Haut Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux, France (S) 19.99/ 215.89 reg. 23.99

Chateau Larose-Trintaudon is one of red Bordeaux’s best – and most consistent – values, and their 2010 delivers a mouthful of classic Medoc goodness. Opaque black ruby, the Larose-Trintaudon explodes out of the glass with textbook Medoc aromas of black currants, cedar, vanilla, and gravelly soil. Supple on the attack, the Larose-Trintaudon firms up mid-palate to reveal plentiful fine tannins that frame the wine’s core of velvety cherry and currant fruit. Hints of dried bay leaf and tobacco segue the wine to its long, savory, and lingering finish. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) and Merlot, this classic claret satisfies on all levels. Enjoy now and over the coming ten years with beef Wellington, roast leg of lamb, and rich lentil dishes.

ITALY

2016 Fattoria di Felsina, Chianti Classico, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany, Italy 24.99/269.89

Year in and year out, the great Felsina estate makes what many Tuscan wine authorities assert is the reference point Chianti Classico. As longtime fans and advocates of Felsina’s exemplary portfolio, we were stunned by the elegance and soil transparency of Felsina’s just-released 2016 Chianti Classico normale. A youthful translucent garnet color, Felsina’s 2016 Classico explodes with textbook Chianti expressions of fresh figs, pie cherries, mushrooms, smoke, and limestone dust. Composed entirely of the noble Sangiovese, Felsina’s Chianti Classico presents cool, elegant, dusty cherry fruit accented by hints of tobacco, menthol, and cinnamon. Dusty Sangiovese tannins and juicy acidity lead the wine to its long, elegant finish, which features reprises of wild cherries complicated by notes of cedar and subtle vanilla bean. Felsina’s 2016 normale can be paired now with rich eggplant dishes and grilled beef, but the patient among you are advised to hold onto a cache for enjoyment when the wine reaches its maturity in six to nine years.

2016 Vincenzo Ippolito, Ciro Rosso, Classico Superiore, Liber Pater, Calabria, Italy 10.99/118.69

Calabria is the “toe” of Italy’s “boot,” a rugged region where vineyards sweep right down to the beaches along the Ionian Sea. Wines from the Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore D.O.C. are based on the rare Gaglioppo grape, indigenous to the region. Deep crimson-garnet in the bowl, Ippolito’s Liber Pater Cirò Rosso captures all of Gaglioppo’s earthy goodness with vibrant aromas of earthy cherry fruit infused with suggestions of leather, tar, bay leaf, and dried herbs. On the palate, the Liber Pater bursts with lip-smackingly delicious sour cherry and black currant fruit balanced by plentiful, savory tannins, tarry earth, and black licorice. The wine finishes long and firm, revisiting its brisk kernel of cherry fruit while adding hints of menthol, soil, and mushroomy underbrush. Superb balance, bracing acidity, and fine, food-friendly tannins make this a perfect match for pasta dishes, hearty vegetable casseroles, grilled eggplant, roasts of lamb, or pork dishes, especially those prepared with the peppers that are so favored in Calabrian cuisine. Enjoy now or cellar three to seven years to allow the tannins to melt into the wine’s kernel of dusty cherry fruit.

SPAIN

2011 La Rioja Alta, Rioja Reserva, Vina Alberdi, Spain (S) 18.99/205.09 reg. 23.99

The great La Rioja Alta estate is a pillar of excellence in Spain’s most hallowed region. The estate’s 2011 Vina Alberdi Reserva – crafted from 40-year-old Tempranillo vines planted at 1600 to 1900 feet above sea level – continues La Rioja Alta’s string of triumphs with a deep mahogany-cherry hue and classic Rioja aromas of pencil lead, cedar, cherry skin, vanilla, and smoke. Suave and sumptuous on the palate, the Vina Alberdi reveals a kernel of cherry, black raspberry, and currant fruit complicated by leathery notes and mature barrel tones of vanilla bean, toffee, and medium-roast coffee. Bracing acidity lifts the wine’s mature fruit profile, while soft tannins segue it to a long, classic, barrel-inflected Rioja finish. Sure to delight all fans of traditional Rioja, the Reserva is ready to enjoy now and over the coming decade with hearty meat dishes, potatoes sauteed in olive oil, hearty bean stews, braised duck, and hard sheep’s milk cheeses.

LEBANON

2015 Chateau Musar, Musar Jeune, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 18.99/205.09

Chateau Musar was established in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley by Gaston Hochar in 1930, after he returned from Bordeaux. With vineyards planted at 3,300 feet, Musar seeks to emulate the excellence of the great Bordeaux growths while emphasizing the unique terroir of the Bekaa Valley. In the 2015 vintage, Musar’s Jeune red is an un-oaked blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from younger vines. The Jeune casts an opaque black-plum robe followed by aromas of black currants, raspberries, and maraschino cherries. Fresh and jammy on the palate, the wine continues with impressions of a fine Gigondas with an earthy, funky edge that must be unique to the Bekaa Valley. Firmly tannic yet approachable, the wine finishes with earthy, gamy, mushroom notes infused in layers of ripe red and black fruits. A terrific value and a compellingly distinctive wine, Musar’s Jeune will make a lovely foil for herbed leg of lamb, burgers, grilled eggplant, mushroom ragouts, and hearty stews. Enjoy now and over the coming decade.


WHITE WINES

FRANCE

NV Kientzler, Edelzwicker, Alsace, France (1-liter bottle) 11.99/129.49

Sourced from mature vines planted in Alsace’s grand cru villages, Kientzler’s delicious, bone-dry Edelzwicker (noble blend) is just about the most perfect aperitif wine we’ve yet encountered. Pale green-gold in the glass, Kientzler’s Edelzwicker – a blend of Chasselas, Sylvaner and Auxerrois – casts captivating aromas of green melon, Meyer lemon zest, lime oil, stony minerals, and juniper berries. Fresh, zippy, and brimming with energy, the wine invigorates the palate with white pepper and herb-driven citrus fruit backed by suggestions of lemongrass, fennel, and freshly grated ginger. Delicious and versatile beyond description, we suggest that you make this your year ’round aperitif white. It will also prove a versatile partner to pates, terrines, firm and washed rind cheeses, choucroute garni, and savory Alsatian, German, and central European cuisines. Insanely delicious, and packaged in a handy one full liter bottle to boot!

2016 Bernard Herivault, Domaine d’Orfeuilles, Vouvray, Silex d’Orfeuilles, Loire Valley, France (O) 20.99/226.69

Vouvray’s gorgeously perfumed soil is on full display in this delicious Silex bottling from the Domaine d’Orfeuilles. A vivid lemon gold in the glass, Herivault’s 2016 Silex d’Orfeuilles – crafted from old-vine Chenin Blanc – projects aromas of bee pollen, honeycomb, orchard blossoms, vanilla, and preserved lemons. Lithe and incisive, the wine unfurls on the palate with gorgeous suggestions of honeydew melon, fleshy Comice 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 minerals. This is superb Vouvray in the “sec tendre” style, and one of the world’s most thrilling, delicious and terroir-expressive wines. Enjoy now and over the coming two decades with goat cheeses, creamed spinach, light chicken, or light freshwater fish preparations, and mild Indian, Vietnamese, and Cantonese cuisines. It will also serve as a perfect white wine for your Thanksgiving table.

2015 Domaine Camille Paquet, Macon-Solutre, Clos des Carras, Monopole, Burgundy, France (O) 16.99/183.49

Camille Paquet is the sole owner of the Clos des Carras, an impressive parcel of old-vine Chardonnay growing atop the classic white Burgundy limestone and clay soil at the foot of Macon’s famous Solutre rock. Before Paquet bottled Clos des Carras under his own label, he sold his fruit to Macon icons Jean-Claude Thevenet and Dominque Lafon. A deep medium-gold in the glass, Paquet’s Clos des Carras opens with lovely aromas of lemon juice, pineapple, quince, and yellow peaches. Rich yet incisive on the palate, the Clos des Carras meshes a rich, Meursault-like texture with riveting acidity and smoky, limestone-infused suggestions of golden apples, Mirabelle plums, and Rainier cherries. Hints of cloves and freshly grated ginger appear as the wine transitions to its long, juicy finish. This is a terrific value in authentic, limestone-driven white Burgundy; pair it now and over the coming five years with herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

GERMANY

2016 von Winning, Riesling, Winnings, Pfalz, Germany (O) 16.99/183.49

2016 was a beautiful harvest in the Pfalz, one that benefited from cool, dry weather to perfectly ripen the Riesling and preserve its precious acidity. A brilliant green-gold in the glass, the Winnings Riesling explodes with scents of pink grapefruit, pineapple, lime juice, and smoky minerals. A perfect fusion of tangy acidity and a deft touch of residual sugar propel the wine’s herb-tinged core of citrus and tropical fruits before delivering a lovely dusting of smoky and sandy minerals. Ripe, riveting and absolutely delicious, the wine finishes clean, fresh, and palpably dry. Von Winning’s eminently versatile Winnings Riesling will serve as a lovely foil for mild to moderately spicy Asian and Indian cuisines. It was also pair well with raw seafood, steamed mussels and clams, and light poultry and pork recipes. Enjoy now and over the coming five years.
David Schildknecht, Vinous: 90 points

ITALY

2017 Tenuta le Velette, Orvieto Classico, Berganorio, Umbria, Italy 12.50/135.00

The dynamic Tenuta le Velette estate produces one of the Orvieto zone’s most complete and exciting portfolios. Orvieto is at its best when made from fruit grown on the tufaceous soils and bedrock found in the region’s Classico zone. Fashioned from a blend of Trebbiano (30%), Grechetto (30%), Malvasia Bianco (20%), Verdello (15%), and Drupeggio, the 2017 Berganorio casts a bright lemon-gold color from the glass, followed by aromas of kiwi, green plum, honeysuckle blossoms, raw almonds, and smoky soil. Crisp and brisk on the palate, the Berganorio conveys suggestions of lime zest, green apple, clover honey, and menthol. The wine finishes long, dry, and persistent, with further suggestions of citrus zest, nutmeg, and an appetizing hint of bitter almond skin. A terrific wine for shellfish, freshwater fish dishes, light poultry preparations, white pasta dishes, sauteed green vegetables, and fresh cheeses, enjoy the Berganorio now and through the coming two years.

2016 Montenidoli, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Tradizionale, Tuscany, Italy (O) 17.99/194.29

Vernaccia stands alone as Tuscany’s premier white grape, and finds its singular voice in the predominately sandy soils around the medieval hillside village of San Gimignano. This bold, rich, long-macerated Vernaccia from Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s Montenidoli domaine shows the serious, age-worthy side of the much beloved Vernaccia di San Gimignano appellation. A deep golden hue in the bowl, Montenidoli’s 2016 Tradizionale casts deep aromas of Bosc pear, golden apple skin, quinine, and fresh tarragon. Brisk, intense, and palate staining, the wine melds fleshy pear and yellow apple fruit with suggestions of bay leaf, bitter orange peel, and fresh ginger. Long, resinous, and tactile on the finish, with added notes of almond skin, turmeric and quinine, the wine raises the bar for the denominazione in terms of complexity, intensity, richness and age-ability. Montenidoli’s intense Tradizionale demands rich fare such as poultry, pork and game birds, grilled prawns, swordfish, ahi, branzino, and salty cheeses such as pecorino. Enjoy this superb Vernaccia now or over the coming five years.

2016 Edi Keber, Collio Bianco, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy 22.99/248.29

This is the white wine of the newsletter! Situated just a stone’s throw away from the Slovenian border, Edi Keber’s 25 acres of vineyards grow on the Collio’s classic “ponka” soil, a stony, friable marl that gives the wines remarkable weight and body. Keber asserts the unique character of the Collio terroir by making only one white wine from a blend of indigenous Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Malvasia Istriana. Keber’s 2016 Bianco radiates a brilliant green-glinted gold color and fascinating aromas of lemon zest, white grapefruit, dried herbs, and iodine. On the palate, the wine bristles with mineral-infused impressions of pear skin, gooseberries, and green pineapple. Juicy, mouthwatering, and delicious, Keber’s Bianco lingers with persistent layers of saline and marine minerals that bring to mind a left-bank Chablis with a personality all its own. The wine is a natural partner to all things seafood, and will also pair beautifully with vegetables and light poultry preparations. We suspect that this wine will age effortlessly, but we want to drink it now and over the next two years to capture its unique and compelling mineral expression.

SPAIN

2017 Envidia Cochina, Albarino, Tete de Cuvee, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain (B) 23.99/259.09

Working biodynamically, winemaker Eladio Pineiro crafts serious, artisanal Albarinos from his tiny cellar in Villagarcia de Arosa. His Envidia Cochina Albarino Tete de Cuvee is fashioned to express Rias Baixas Albarino at its deepest and most intense. A brilliant medium green-glinted gold in the bowl, the wine casts deep aromas of pineapple, passion fruit, white peaches, lime zest, and saline minerals. Juxtaposing an impressively rich, ripe fruit expression with firm minerality and structure, the wine layers the palate with fresh tropical fruits, yellow melon, jasmine blossoms, and crystallized ginger. Long, lithe, and chiseled, the wine focuses and reins its exotic fruit expressions with laser beams of acid and a lashing of saline minerals. This is superb Albarino that will delight now and over the coming five years as a partner to prawns, seafood tapas, vegetable tortillas, steak fishes such as swordfish or mahi mahi, sashimi, and mild cheeses.

LINER & ELSEN
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FRIDAY TASTINGS:

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

Oct. 5 - Great Washington Syrahs: Reynvaan, K Vintners, Gramercy Cellars, Rotie Cellars, and more!

Oct. 19 - A visit to the Piedmont: It’s Barbaresco all night.

Nov. 2 - Special Event: A retrospective tasting of wines from Mt. Eden Vineyards with co-owner Reid Patterson. Starts 6:30 sharp.
Fee. $40 per person. Advance reservations are required.



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

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


Oct. 6 - From La Belle France: Dom. Camille Paquet Macon-Solutre Clos des Carras, Herivault Dom. d’Orfeuilles Vouvray, Thevenet Bourgogne Rouge Les Clos, Abbaye Sainte Eugenie Nine Dimoni, Dom. du Moulin, and Dom. la Roubine Sablet.

Oct. 13 - Great wines from Oregon's Lingua Franca. Plus, from France: Our Loire Valley Cabernet Franc Sampler, Kientzler Edelzwicker, and Ch. Larose-Trintaudon Haut Medoc.

Oct. 20 - Italian Wines: Tenuta le Velette Orvieto Classico Berganorio, Montenidoli Vernaccia, Edi Keber Bianco Collio, Felsina Chianti Classico, and Ippolito Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore.

Oct. 27 -Wines from and there: Vincent Wine Company Pinot Noir, and Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir (Oregon); Envidia Cochina Albarino Tete de Cuvee, and La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Rioja (Spain); Von Winning Riesling Winnings (Germany); and Ch. Musar Jeune (Lebanon).



SPECIAL EVENTS:

Domaines Barons de Rothschild Tasting with Cedric Villar
Weds. Oct. 3 6:00-7:15 p.m.

Please join us for an informal tasting of wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, Sauternes, and Argentina made by Domaines Baron de Rothschild. Cedric Villar, the portfolio director, will be on hand to talk about the wines. Reservations are not necessary. Tasting fee: $10.

__________


Domaine De Montille Burgundy Tasting with Etienne De Montille
Tues. Oct. 16, 6:30 p.m. sharp

Please join us and winemaker-owner Etienne de Montille for a formal tasting of the great Burgundies from one of the region’s most renowned wineries. Seating is limited. Pre-payment secures your reservation. $85 per person.

__________

A Tasting of Wines from
Mount Eden Vineyards
with Reid Patterson

Fri. Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m. sharp

James Laube of the Wine Spectator once wrote, “If one were to only collect wine from one vineyard, Mount Eden would be a tough choice to beat.”
Our tasting will feature wines from 1982 up to the present releases.Seating is limited. Pre-payment secures your reservation. $40 per person..
(Note: This event replaces our usual Friday night tasting)

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Domaines Albert Bichot
Burgundy Tasting with
Jenna Chegvigny
Weds. Nov. 7 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Join us and Jenna Chevigny of Albert Bichot for an informal tasting of red and white Burgundies from Domaines Albert Bichot. This your opportunity to taste the new vintage, including selections from many Burgundy appellations. Reservations not necessary. Tasting fee: $15.

The complete list of wines for each event is on our website


NOTE:  The Joseph Drouhin Dinner at Bluehour on October 29 is sold out. Inquiries for the wait list accepted at Liner & Elsen only. $150 per person, all inclusive.

 


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.