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DECEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER


Oregon Pinot Noir Holiday Samplers:

The perfect gift for the holidays and beyond. One for them, one for you!
Each case sampler (12 bottles) contains two bottles of the listed selection:

Fort Knox Sampler ... 450.00 reg. 505.88

2014 Crowley, La Colina Vineyard, Cuvee L&E, Dundee Hills
2013 J.K. Carriere, Vespidae, Willamette Valley
2011 Hamacher, Willamette Valley
2014 Cristom Vineyards, Jessie Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills
2014 J. Christopher, Nuages, Chehalem Mountains
2014 Resonance, Yamhill-Carlton

Value Pack Sampler … 240.00 reg. 269.88

2014 Ken Wright Cellars, Willamette Valley
2014 Cristom, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee, Eola-Amity Hills
2014 Holden, Willamette Valley
2014 Swick Wines, Ken’s Pom’, Cancilla Vineyard
2015 Broadley, Willamette Valley

RED WINES


FRANCE

2015 Frederic Esmonin, Bourgogne Rouge, Les Genevrieres, Burgundy, France 22.99/248.29

Here’s our introduction to the 2015 vintage in Burgundy and what a lovely introduction it is! The Frederic Esmonin Les Genevrieres glows light red in the glass, yielding aromas of tart cranberry, ripe strawberry, and hints of brown spices. On the palate, soft cherry fruit eases into fleshed-out raspberry elements. The finish is bright and elongated, tying together a very charming, easy-to-drink Burgundy. Based in Gevrey-Chambertin, Frederic Esmonin is an under-the-radar vigneron who deserves full attention from Pinot lovers of all stripes. Plus, at 12% alcohol this wine shines with acidity and minerality. Drink now and over the next 3-5 years.

Be sure to also try the 2015 Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin…37.99/410.29 -- it is the best buy in a Gevrey-Chambertin we’ve seen in years! Both selections are limited.


2013 Famille Perrin, Vinsobres, Les Cornuds, S. Rhone Valley, France 16.99/183.49

The Famille Perrin, world renowned as the owners of the prestigious Chateau de Beaucastel, consider Vinsobres one of its favorite terroirs because it is particularly well suited for growing Syrah. Opaque plum-ruby in the glass, Perrin’s Vinsobres casts fresh, zesty aromas of violets, brambly blackberries, leather, dried bay leaf, and cracked black peppercorns. Plush and broad on the palate, the wine offers notes of elderberries, black licorice, button mushrooms, woodruff, and tar. Fine, plentiful tannins emerge before the Cornuds segues to a long, cool, and deliciously fresh finish where the interplay between the wine’s Syrah and Grenache components is both complex and totally harmonious.
-Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 90 points

2014 Alain Voge, Cotes-du-Rhone, Les Peyrouses, N. Rhone Valley, France (S) 19.99/215.89

This is a sensational, impressively well-crafted Northern Rhone Syrah and an absolute steal for its sub-$20 tariff. Alain Voge is a legend in his home appellation of Cornas. Alberic Mazoyers, who honed his skills working with the great Michel Chapoutier, now crafts Voge’s impeccable portfolio. Fashioned exclusively from the Syrah grape, Voge’s opaque, black plum-colored 2014 Cotes-du-Rhone opens with aromas of violets, black cherries, blackberries, menthol, and blond leather. Suave on the palate, the wine’s dense core of blackberry fruit is accented by notes of black pepper, licorice, and complex suggestions of bay leaf and oil-cured olives. Fine, savory tannins, chewy bitter cherry skin, and a salty granite soil expression highlight the wine’s impressively long and complex finish. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with all things hearty and soul satisfying.
-Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 89-91 points

2015 Domaine Laroque, Cite de Carcassonne IGP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (S) 8.50/91.80

Domaine Laroque’s 2015 Cabernet Franc comes across as a delightful fusion of a juicy Right Bank Bordeaux and a top notch, herbal Corbieres rouge. The famous walled city of Carcassonne enjoys a very privileged climate where the coolness of the Atlantic Ocean tempers the heat of the Mediterranean. Unique for this part of France, Domaine Laroque fashions this beauty of an IGP from 100% Cabernet Franc. An opaque young claret robe in the glass, the wine opens to reveal deep Cabernet Franc aromas of cassis, tobacco, wild herbs, and tar. Supple on the attack, vibrant cherry and red currant fruit play with herbal tobacco and black pepper notes. The wine tenses mid-palate to reveal plentiful fine, food-friendly tannins, balancing acidity and a dusty limestone soil signature that enliven the wine’s chewy currant fruit profile. Pair this special Cabernet Franc now and over the coming two years with pork rillettes, cassoulet, earthy lentils du Puy, and braised rabbit.

2012 Chateau La Fleur Penin, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France (S) 26.99/291.49

Winemaker Patrick Carteyron has fashioned a gorgeous, supple and oh-so-satisfying St. Emilion. The 2012 La Fleur Penin is based on a blend of Merlot (85%) and Cabernet Franc from 30-75-year-old vines. The wine explodes with classic Right Bank aromas of plums, cherries, chocolate, dark roasted coffee, dusty limestone earth, and creamy vanilla bean. Juxtaposing a fleshy fruit impression with ripe, framing tannins, and buoying acidity, the 2012 La Fleur Penin offers textbook St. Emilion complexity and charm. With just over 1,000 cases for the world, there is not much to go around. Grab a case and enjoy three bottles over the next year or two, then lay down the rest in your cool cellar for a decade or two. Pair this over-performing St. Emilion with duck, rib roasts, standing rib roast, lentil preparations, and dishes accented by freshly shaved black truffles. Very limited.

2013 Chateau du Hureau, Saumur-Champigny, Tuffe, Loire Valley, France (O) 15.99/172.69

The gorgeous Cabernet Francs of Saumur-Champigny are among France’s most sought-after wines. Saumur-Champigny’s rouges can be seriously expensive and take years to mature, or they can deliver an immediately delicious mouthful of soul-satisfying Cabernet Franc laced with the Saumur’s inimitable yellow limestone (tuffeau) soil signature. This beauty from Chateau du Hureau lands firmly in the second camp. The Chateau’s Tuffe bottling offers immediately delicious, pure, perfumed aromas of cedar, violets, dusty tuffeau soil, tobacco, and capsicum followed by a generous palate of tangy black cherry and cassis fruit. Smoky, leathery, and both serious and gulpable, Hureau’s Tuffe is ready to grace your table with all the character and perfumed terroir of the Loire Valley’s Saumur sector. This is a ridiculous value that delivers year-round versatility. Pair in cool weather with roast chicken or hearty mushroom dishes, or give it a light chill in the summer and serve it with grilled zucchini, barbecue chicken, ribs and fresh chevres.

ITALY

2015 Monte Tondo, Corvina, Veneto IGT, Italy 12.99/140.29

Unlike the classic Valpolicella cuvee – where the noble Corvina is typically blended with other varietals such as Molinara and Rondinella – Monte Tondo’s Veneto IGT is the extraordinarily rare pure Corvina wine crafted from vines within the famous Valpolicella zone. Transparent garnet in the glass, Monte Tondo’s Corvina is redolent of Bing cherries, orange peel, white chocolate, potpourri, and star anise. Brisk on the attack yet velvety in texture, Monte Tondo’s Corvina conveys suggestions of violets, lavender, and citrus peel notes wrapped around a bright, vibrant core of bitter cherry fruit. Medicinal herbs and fine tannins work alongside brisk acidity and a chewy core of red fruits to make this one of the most versatile and table-ready wines in a long time. Pair this over the coming two years with just about everything but shellfish and fish.

2013 Terredora di Paolo, Aglianico, Campania IGT, Italy 13.50/145.80

Campania has a rich winemaking tradition that stretches back to Roman times. As Campania’s leading estate, Terredora di Paolo is driving the region’s renaissance with thrilling wines that honor traditional varietals and expressions of the land while offering modern purity and refinement. Aglianico is southern Italy’s noblest varietal, and it achieves its greatest expression on Campania’s volcanic soils east of Naples. Terredora’s Aglianico IGT begins with a translucent crimson-ruby color and deep aromas of baked plums, tobacco, dried oregano, and smoky terroir. On the palate, Aglianico’s rich expressions of plum skin and spicy black cherries are infused with the region’s piquant volcanic soils. Bone dry and incisive on the entry, the wine segues to offer plentiful food-friendly tannins framing suggestions of menthol, cinnamon bark, bitter orange, tar, and smoky earth. On its long, soil-driven finish the wine’s fruit expressions marry seamlessly with the wine’s tannic structure, hints of leather, and a classic reprise 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.
- Ian d’Agata, Vinous: 88+ points

2011 Fontanafredda, Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy (1-liter) 37.99/389.78 reg. 46.99

As we ease into the cooler months, what has us salivating more than a liter of Barolo? The 2011 Barolo from Fontanafredda presents a concert of black raspberry, anise, smoked tangerine peel, sous bois, and rose petal aromas. A seductive blend of sour cherry, black tea, and almond make for a precise and multifaceted presence on the palate. With silky tannins, resilient acidity, and a fine mineral backbone, this medium-bodied Nebbiolo offers a refreshing contrast of tart fruit and earthier elements that together lead towards an enduring finish. Resplendent yet restrained, this Barolo, while drinking well young, will offer many years of pleasure. Drink now and over the next fifteen years with dishes featuring mushrooms, osso buco, rustic stews, and egg-rich pastas.

2014 Luigi Giordano, Langhe Rosso, Piedmont, Italy 16.99/183.49

With vineyards in the prestigious Asili, Montestefano and Cavanna crus, the Luigi Giordano estate is best known for its Barbarescos. Giordano’s Langhe Rosso is a co-fermented blend of Nebbiolo and Arneis hailing from vineyards situated within the Barbaresco zone. A transparent, amber-rimmed garnet in the glass, Giordano’s Rosso reveals elegant aromas of rose petals, pie cherries, plums, licorice, and Chinese five spice. Light and silky on the palate, Giordano’s Rosso delicately unfurls red cherry fruit accented by notes of tobacco, menthol and botanical herbs. The dominant Nebbiolo component seems lifted by the Arneis to create a wine of immense drinking pleasure. Conveying a wonderful textural juxtaposition among sweet, bitter and salty mineral sensations, Giordano’s will prove immensely versatile at the table. Pair this beauty now and over the coming three years with just about everything but seafood and acidic vegetables.

2012 Montaribaldi, Barbaresco, Palazzina, Piedmont, Italy 21.99/237.49

This is a steal in firm, age-worthy Barbaresco. The esteemed Montaribaldi estate crafts this delicious, traditionally structured yet modern-styled Barbaresco from hillside vineyards in the Starderi subzone of Barbaresco’s Neive commune. A brilliant ruby color in the glass, Montaribaldi’s Palazzina casts textbook Barbaresco scents of sour cherries, rose petals, Assam black tea, cinnamon, and smoke. Firm and classically structured on the palate, chewy, mouth-coating tannins frame a dense core of blueberry and blackberry fruit laced with hints of camphor, smoke, and black licorice. Montaribaldi’s Palazzina is long and satisfying on the finish, lingering with a lip-smacking undercurrent of limestone minerality and hints of pine underbrush. It will pair well now with hearty risottos, osso buco and rich lamb preparations, but, ideally, is best cellared for another decade or two to allow the wine’s plentiful dusty tannins to melt into its sappy red-fruited core.

WHITE WINES


FRANCE

2014 Chateau de Breze, Saumur Blanc, Clos du Midi, Loire Valley, France (O) 16.99/183.49

Tuffeau is the yellow-tinged limestone that was quarried in times past to build the magnificent chateaux in the central Loire. Today it is responsible for the equally magnificent Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs grown upon it. The tuffeau-laden hill that surrounds the Chateau de Breze is considered one of the wine world’s two finest sites for dry Chenin Blanc, the other being Savennieres. Chateau de Breze’s Clos du Midi – from a cool site near the top of the Breze hill – casts a pale straw-gold hue from the glass and classic Chenin Blanc aromas of Anjou pears, green plums, hay, and smoky limestone. Brisk on the attack, the wine defies the vintage’s ripeness with fresh Chenin fruit chiseled by dusty limestone minerals and bracing acidity. Pleasant notes of quince and honeysuckle emerge on the wine’s long, citrus-tinged finish joined by nervy acidity and lip-coating limestone dust. Pair the wine now and over the coming three years with freshwater fish preparations, aged chevres, dishes featuring chanterelle mushrooms, and roasted pheasant. This is grand cru dry Chenin for a song!

2014 Joseph Drouhin, Saint-Veran, Burgundy, France 16.99/183.49

Saint-Veran in the Maconnais region of southern Burgundy is one of our go-to sources for delicious, well-priced Chardonnays laced with that inimitable Burgundian limestone soil signature. In Burgundy’s precise and delicious 2014 vintage, Drouhin has fashioned an elegant, immediately enjoyable, soil-driven wine from this under-heralded region wedged between Pouilly-Fuisse and Beaujolais. Drouhin’s 2014 Saint-Veran sports a lovely lemon-gold color in the glass followed by clay and limestone-inflected aromas of sweet cream butter, acacia blossoms and smoky limestone minerals. On the palate, Drouhin’s Saint-Veran is fresh, focused and simmering with suggestions of Marcona almonds and lemon curd lifted by lilting acidity and a vibrant undercurrent of saline limestone minerality. Enjoy this lovely, authentic, reasonably priced white Burgundy now and over the coming three years with salmon, roast chicken, duck, boudin blanc, and light pork dishes.

GERMANY

2015 Hofgut Falkenstein, Riesling Kabinett, Krettnacher Euchariusberg, Mosel, Germany 18.99/205.09

Here’s a throwback to Mosel wines of a century ago. Falkenstein’s 2015 Krettnacher Euchariusberg Kabinett is crafted from carefully tended, very low yielding vines fermented on wild yeasts and raised exclusively in old, neutral fuder (the region’s traditional large oval oak barrels). The wine bursts from the glass with high-toned aromas of honeysuckle blossom, lime zest, wild yeast, sea salt, and dissolved flint. Full on the attack with crystalline clarity, the wine unfurls with suggestions of white currants, fresh white peaches, lemon juice, and saline minerals. Balancing deftly a velvety palate presence and finishing essentially dry, the wine leaves sensations of juicy acidity and liquefied minerals that compel you to take another sip. And another. And another. This is superb, traditional Saar Riesling and a natural choice to grace your holiday table. Serve with savory turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, light fish dishes, oysters, mild, semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses, and light pork braises.

ITALY

2015 Jubilaumskellerei, Pinot Blanc (Pinot Bianco), Jubilee, Alto Adige, Italy 14.99/161.89

Alto Adige lies on subalpine Italy border with Austria. The juxtaposition of high altitude freshness and unusually warm microclimate makes the Alto Adige’s wines some of Italy’s most compelling. Jubilaumskellerei’s Pinot Blanc Jubilee exemplifies these contrasts with a brilliant gold color and aromas that mesh alpine minerality and beautiful white flower and chamomile notes with fully ripe pear and yellow apple fruit. Brisk on the attack, the Jubilee stains the palate with saturated Mirabelle plum, lovely apricot and Golden Delicious apple fruit alongside a stony mineral undercurrent and touches of quinine, white pepper, and medicinal herbs. Hints of menthol and chamomile segue the wine to its long, satisfying finish. We plan to pair this tremendously food versatile beauty now and over the coming two years with sauteed green leafy vegetables, seasonal squashes, earthy lentils, shellfish, sushi, and sashimi.

2015 Bisci, Verdicchio di Matelica, Marches, Italy (O) 13.50/145.80

Located in the Marches region between Umbria and Italy’s Adriatic coast, and boasting some of the Marches’ highest altitude vineyards, Matelica is renowned for full-bodied Verdicchios that buffer subtle, smoky minerality with complex layered fruit expressions. Bisci’s Verdicchio di Matelica reveals a bright lemon-gold color and a fresh, beguiling nose of white flowers, papaya, lime zest, and saline minerals. Crisp and impressively mineral-driven on the palate, Bisci’s Verdicchio teems with notes of lime juice, tarragon, bitter almond, and lip-dusting minerals. On the wine’s long and zesty finish, a gripping palate texture and saline minerals elevate further suggestions of green apple, fennel bulb and fresh herbs. Refined, elegant, thirst quenching and delicious, this is a splendid wine for sipping year ’round either by itself or ideally paired with fresh seafood and green vegetable preparations.

2015 Ronco Blanchis, Ribolla Gialla, Collio, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy 17.99/194.29

From high-altitude slopes in the prestigious Gorizia zone on Italy’s border with Slovenia, Ronco Blanchis is crafting exemplary wines. The special terroir upon which the grapes are grown is sheltered by the nearby Alps to allow for long, patient ripening and insistent minerality. Ronco Blanchis’ Ribolla Gialla casts a brilliant lemon-gold hue from the bowl followed by aromas of pear skin, peach, yellow melon, and earthy ginger. Brisk on the attack with riveting acidity and persistent minerality, the wine conveys impressive extract and thrust on the palate with notes of green apples, pear skin, lemon balm, and menthol. Brisk and insistent with a fantastic balance between fruit density and framing acidity, the wine shows the deep, serious side of the Ribolla grape as reflected in the small-berried 2015 vintage. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming two years with golden trout, sauteed mushrooms, light poultry preparations, lentil soups, vegetable omelets, and angel hair pasta dressed with lemon-cream sauce.

SPAIN

2015 Casal de Arman, Ribeiro, Galicia, Spain 18.99/205.09

New to our palates, the Ribeiro’s Casal de Armán estate focuses exclusively on the region’s indigenous varieties grown on terraced vineyards at 650 to 1150 feet above sea level. This blend of Treixadura (90%) Godello and Albariño from the historically important Ribeiro do Avia subzone casts a brilliant lemon-gold in the glass and soaring aromas of nectarine, passion fruit, jasmine, chamomile, apricot, and yellow plums. Rich on the palate with impressive extract, the Casal de Arman Ribeiro blanco stains the palate with mineral-infused honeydew melon and tangerine fruit lifted by brisk acidity and salty minerals. Long, refreshing, and quite serious, especially at its modest price, the wine finishes with delicious notes of Clementine oranges, Meyer lemons, green tea, and freshly shaved fennel. Pair this beauty with all things seafood, especially steaks of tuna, swordfish, and halibut. It will also prove a delicious foil for seafood and vegetable tapas, and paella.

2015 Manuel Guerra Justo, Treixadura y Godello, Via Arxentea, Monterrei, Galicia, Spain 17.99/194.29

Manuel Guerra Justo’s Via Arxentea Treixadura y Godello conveys the magic that these two indigenous varietals can accomplish in the hands of a meticulous artisanal winemaker. A deep gold in the glass, Justo’s Via Arxentea bursts with vivid aromas of passion fruit, pineapple, mango, fresh tarragon, and smoky minerals. Broad in texture on the palate, yet bracing with freshness and acidity, the Via Arxentea reveals a kaleidoscope of flavors, ranging from ginger, Meyer lemon, and Seville orange to fresh fennel and myriad fresh herbs. Impressive extract and a wonderful interplay between citrus fruit, pit fruit, minerality and freshening acidity make this one of the most impressive and engaging white wines we’ve tasted from Monterrei. Enjoy now or over the next five years with squid a la plancha, seafood and vegetable paellas, salt cod fritters, and pastas tossed with olive oil and sauteed green vegetables.

 

SPARKLING WINES

N/V Eugene Carrel et Fils, Vin de Savoie, Brut, Methode Traditionnelle, 18.99/205.09

Stony minerality mixed with notes of lemon meringue, graham crackers, tangerine and lemon rinds. There is no better way to start an evening!

N/V Domaine Allimant-Laugner, Cremant d’Alsace, Brut Rose, Alsace 23.99/259.09

This Pinot Noir cremant rose bursts with a high-toned bouquet of wild strawberries, sour cherries, pomegranate, rhubarb, yellow rose petals and crushed minerals. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, Allimant-Laugner’s rose conveys impressive harmony between crisp acidity, yeasty richness and crunchy berry fruit.

N/V Pierre Paillard, Brut, Grand Cru, Bouzy, Champagne 37.99/410.29 reg. 41.99

Wow! Champagne at this price does not come along very often. On the nose, sweet apples mingle with a leesy character and limestone notes. The bubbles are very fine, and the impressive palate provides tastes of limes, lemons, apples and nuts on the long finish. Most impressive.

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

HOLIDAY HOURS:
Dec. 24 + Dec. 31
We close at 5:00 pm

CLOSED:
Dec. 25; Jan. 1-5
Re-open Friday, Jan. 6


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

Dec. 2
A Tasting of Super Tuscans: Fontalloro, Ornellia, Oreno, and more!

Dec. 16
Our Semi-Annual Champagne Fete
…Taste the best of the best from Champagne!


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

Dec. 3
La Belle France:
Ch. de Breze Saumur Blanc Clos du Midi, Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran, Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds, Dom. Laroque IGP, and Ch. La Fleur Penin St. Emilion.

Dec. 10
Tutti Italia:
Ronco Blanchis Ribolla Gialla, Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica, Monte Tondo Corvina, Terredora di Paolo Aglianico, and Montaribaldi Barbaresco Palazzina.

Dec. 17
A Taste of Oregon
: Selections from our two Oregon Pinot Noir Samplers. Plus, from Italy and Germany: Jubilaumskellerei Pinot Blanc, L. Giordano Langhe Rosso, Fontanafredda Barolo, and Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett.

Dec. 24
Two superb whites from Spain:
Manuel Guerra Justo Via Arxentea and Casal de Arman Ribeiro. Plus, from France: F. Esmonin Les Genevrieres Bourgogne Rouge, Ch. du Hureau Saumur-Champigny, and Alain Voge Cotes-du-Rhone Les Peyrouses.

Dec. 31
Sparkling wines and Champagne all day long!

 

Shop Early!
On Christmas Eve and
New Year’s Eve
we will close at 5:00 p.m.


Happy Holidays to all!

 

 


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.