© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Availability and prices may have changed since the newsletter date.

 

MAY 2016 NEWSLETTER

 
ROSÉ WINES

Our Annual French Rosé Sampler

149.50 per case ... reg. 167.99

Summer is nearly here, and it is time to enjoy the pleasure that great dry rosé wines can offer! Our selective sampler consists of three bottles each of the following four wines:

  • 2015 Moulin de Gassac, Guilheim, Pays D’Herault: Refreshing notes of strawberries, lemons, and herbs.
  • 2015 Foncalieu, Pique Poul, Coteaux D’Enserue: Salty mineralty combines with strawberries, raspberries and orange.
  • 2015 Domaine Vertriccie, Corsica: Red cherries, sour cherries, bright acidity and a strong mineral background.
  • 2015 Hecht & Bannier, Cotes de Provence: Red apple skin, rhubarb, raspberries, apricots and lots of spice.

RED WINES

WASHINGTON - RED

At 12.5% alcohol, this is about as cool and refreshing a Pinot as we’re going to find from the 2014 vintage. Swick’s Les Sous-Bois Pinot Noir hails from a five-acre vineyard situated on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge, directly across from Hood River. The vineyard’s deep basalt soils, windy days and cold nights produce tiny Wädenswil and Pommard clone clusters with thicker skins and intense acidity. A lovely crimson-ruby in the glass, Swick’s Pinot opens with bright, wild yeast-driven aromas of rhubarb, spicy red cherries, cinnamon and wintergreen. High-toned yet earthy on the palate, fine, savory tannins mingle with suggestions of tart red cherries, earthy cranberries, cloves, bay leaf and subtle barrel tones. Brisk and lip-smackingly delicious, the Sous-Bois finishes with lingering notes of red currants, pomegranate and a dusting of smoky basaltic minerals. Enjoy this immensely versatile wine now and over the coming two years.

FRANCE – RED

The Domaine Rabasse Charavin is one of the southern Rhone’s best-kept secrets. In the generous 2014 vintage, Rabasse Charavin’s Cotes du Rhone conveys the nuance and chewy kernel of cherry fruit reminiscent of a top-notch Cairanne. The wine’s saturated ruby color leads to the lovely fruit-forward nose, superb weight and layered texture on the palate. Fine, framing tannins and notes of black licorice, black pepper and floral garrigue emerge as the wine balances its opulent fruit with impressive tannic structure. Suggestions of crushed stones, leather, dried bay leaf, and a touch of wet, stony terroir linger as the wine lingers long and satisfying on the palate. This blend of 80% Grenache with a dollop of Syrah and Mourvedre is delicious now and has the structure to age three to five years. Enjoy with hearty southern French fare like rosemary-encrusted leg of lamb or ratatouille, or with burgers and grilled chicken.

We were thrilled with this Malbec wonder from the venerable Jean-Luc Baldes’s Triguedina estate. Translucent black plum in the glass, the Malbec du Clos explodes with vibrant aromas of black cherries, cardamom, black licorice and dried herbs. Crafted to be generous and approachable, Baldes’s Malbec du Clos conveys a meaty core of cassis and black raspberries layered with suggestions of earthy morels, carob bean and cracked black peppercorns. Plentiful fine tannins join the wine’s juicy core of black fruits mid-palate and segue the wine to its full, satisfying, herb-tinged finish. Bright acidity buoys the Malbec’s layered dark fruit palate impression, making this a most approachable and immediately satisfying Cahors in the modern aesthetic. Enjoy now and over the next five years with hearty stews, mushroom dishes, burgers, casseroles and other rustic fare.

The cleverly named Anjou Démon – fashioned from 100% Cabernet Franc – absolutely sings in the generous 2014 Loire Valley vintage. A translucent claret color in the glass, Terres Blanches’ Anjou Démon opens with aromas of ripe black currants and black raspberries accented by Earl Grey tea, licorice and black pepper. Smooth and generous on the palate, the wine shows layered black fruits accented by hints of tobacco, violets, limestone soil and appetizing herbal notes. Finishing spicy and cinnamon-tinged, the Anjou Démon expresses chewy licorice notes alongside firm tannins and a deep limestone soil signature. The Anjou Démon is delicious and savory today, but has the poise and the balance to reward three to five years’ aging in your cool cellar. Pair this superb Anjou Rouge with charcuterie, aged goat cheeses, braised rabbit and pork dishes, and grilled hanger steaks.

ITALY – RED

Aglianico, the noble red variety of southern Italy, finds one of its rare natural homes on the deep volcanic soils around Monte Vulture. For four generations, Elisabetta Musto Carmelitano’s family has been making wine in the DOCG of Aglianico del Vulture. Employing old vines and organic farming, Musto Carmelitano is fashioning deep, soulful expressions of Monte Vulture’s deep, spicy volcanic soils. The estate’s Maschitano Rosso casts a transparent rusty ruby color alongside aromas of Bing cherries, menthol and perfumed soil. On the palate, velvety cherry fruit merges with firm tannins and suggestions of bitter medicinal herbs before segueing to a long savory finish that revisits ripe cherries, spicy volcanic soil and chewy Aglianico tannins. Enjoy this southern Italian beauty now and over the coming five years paired with hard cheeses, hearty pasta dishes, roast lamb, grilled beef and rustic eggplant casseroles.

Folks, this is a ridiculously great wine and a dead ringer for the great, long-lamented early Notarpanaros and Salice Salentino Riservas from Dottor Cosimo Taurino. Copertino is the DOC to the south and east of the famous Salice Salentino. Like Salice, Copertino emphasizes the Negroamaro grape. The Cantina Sociale’s Copertino is crafted from Negroamaro seasoned by a 5% dollop of Malvasia Nera. An orange-rimmed garnet color, the Copertino Riserva casts a kaleidoscope of aromas, from leather to red currants, ripe cherries, cinnamon, cola and cured beef. Supple on the palate, the wine packs a wallop of funky, leathery fruit followed by framing tannins and notes of bitter herbs. Long, lingering and with impressive staying power, the wine finishes with earthy, mushroomy notes alongside reprises of saddle leather, tobacco, game and peppery salumi. Buy this soul-satisfying rosso by the case and serve with pizzas, pasta in a sun-dried tomato, pine nut and olive oil sauce, grilled sausages and marinated flank steak.

The Tonelli family of Villa Ligi specializes in the indigenous and superior Aleatico clone of the Vernaccia Rossa di Pergola variety. Highly perfumed and deliciously scented, the Aleatico is thought to be a red mutation of the noble and ancient Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Pale garnet colored, Villa Ligi’s Vernaculum explodes out of the glass with Muscat-inspired aromas of rose petals, cherry blossoms, crushed raspberries, dried orange peel, menthol and gentian. Refreshingly bitter on the palate, the wine fills the senses with a panoply of floral notes, quinine, wild red berries and cinnamon-tinged potpourri. Light, long and immensely satisfying, the Vernaculum finishes with soft, framing tannins, refreshing acidity and reprises of spicy cinnamon, white pepper and rose petals. This is fascinating wine and a must try for those who love dry, beguilingly aromatic wines.
Ian D’Agata, Vinous – 90 points

Given the Podere Capaccia impressive pedigree, complexity and character, this is one beautiful Chianti for an unbelievably affordable tariff. Located in the hallowed village of Radda in Chianti, the estate fashions this authentic Chianti Classico Riserva from a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. Translucent ruby with amber overtones, Capaccia’s Riserva offers a mouthful of supple, round, fleshy plum and black cherry fruit accented by Sangiovese’s special leathery, mushroomy, woodsy overtones. Capaccia’s Chianti blossoms with aeration, offering complex notes of menthol, dark roast coffee, underbrush and untanned leather. Firm, fine tannins and wintergreen highlights transition the wine from its palate-staining presence to its long, smoky, earthy finish. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with grilled Porterhouse steaks, rustic eggplant casseroles, hearty bean stews and recipes emphasizing earthy mushrooms.

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. A transparent ruby color in the bowl yields to vibrant aromas of black currants, Assam black tea, camphor and tar. Brisk and lively in the mouth, the wine conveys a core of chewy cherry, raspberry and cassis fruit before transitioning to a long finish marked by notes of menthol, tobacco, cloves, sarsaparilla and sottobosco. The combination of dazzling aromas, fresh and zesty 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. Serve it with pasta tossed with 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 five years.

The Piedmont’s great Tintero estate crafts this delicious, authentic, approachable Barbaresco from a tiny parcel in Barbaresco’s famed Treiso zone. Tintero’s 2012 Barbaresco fills the room with aromas of sweet cherries, red licorice, menthol, vanilla bean and aniseed. Vigorous decantation allows the young Barbaresco to reveal a gorgeous core of cherry and red plum fruit backed by fine, food-friendly tannins and complex notes of rose petals, limestone soil, camphor and fennel. Floral notes of violet, rose petals and cherry blossoms mark the wine’s long, lingering, smoky finish. Youthful and structured yet admirably generous, this unusually affordable Barbaresco will pair now and over the coming fifteen years with hearty Piemontese fare like creamy risottos, egg-rich tajarin topped with shaved truffles or a rich ragù, braised game, rack of lamb, and hearty beef stews. Very limited.


WHITE WINES

AUSTRIA – WHITE

Nigl, unquestionably one of Austria’s elite estates, crafts focused, chiseled wines of impeccable detail and transparency. This month we present Nigl’s always-delicious Gruner Veltliner Freiheit, perhaps the greatest value in Nigl’s exemplary portfolio. In the superb 2014 Gruner vintage, Nigl’s Freiheit coveys the exceptional balance and mineral tension that we so adore. The wine casts a pale green-gold hue followed by crystalline aromas of honeysuckle blossoms, lentils, toasted barley and white pepper. On the palate pure, juicy green melon and citrus fruit are accented by suggestions of white pepper, blond tobacco and wintergreen. A smoky mineral note transitions the Freiheit to its long, zesty finish, which repeats the citrus, apple and melon fruits. Enjoy now or over the coming two years with sautéed green vegetables, grilled zucchini, braised pork and roast chicken.

FRANCE – WHITE

Burgundy insiders are thrilled by the 2014 vintage that yielded white Burgundies of impressive intensity, flesh and acidity. The perfect example: Bouchard’s 2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay Réserve, a wine that bursts with classic white burgundy soil notes of crushed clay and limestone alongside palate impressions of lemon oil and green apple skin. A brilliant green-glinted lemon gold in the glass, Bouchard’s Bourgogne Blanc accents its unmistakable soil expression with aromas and suggestions of lemon curd, crunchy yellow apples, white flowers, sweet cinnamon and crushed oyster shell minerals. Rich and layered yet bright and ineffably soil-driven, the wine will appeal to Burgundy lovers seeking authentic character and value, as well as to devoted Chardonnay fans who prefer the varietal’s crisp, mineral and citrus expressions. Enjoy this authentic white Burgundy now and over the next two years with delicate freshwater fish preparations, light pasta dishes with white sauces or a spinach and zucchini frittata.

La Pierre Frite, Domaine du Pas Saint Martin’s Saumur blanc, is fashioned from Chenin Blanc grown organically on silica-rich limestone soils and given extended ageing on its lees to enrich the wine’s palate texture and express the Saumur’s special terroir. Pale straw-gold in color, Pas Saint Martin’s Pierre Frite blanc opens with aromas of honeydew melon complicated by notes of coconut, freesia and gardenia blossom. On the palate, juicy acidity drives the wine’s core of melon and kiwi fruit while a gripping, resinous palate texture elevates the smoky tuffeau limestone soil signature. Further notes of green pineapple, sweet grapefruit and Golden Delicious apple complete the wine on the finish. This splendid, expressive Saumur blanc is ready to drink now and over the next three years as a partner to everything from bivalves to cephalopods to halibut to sautéed zucchini to light poultry recipes.

Third-generation Burgundian vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel Sangouard farms 25 acres in the Maconnais’ most hallowed terroirs. Sangouard spotlights the Clos de la Bressande vineyard’s superb aspect and classic clay-limestone soil to craft this delicious Macon-Villages. A bright golden color in the glass, Sangouard’s Clos de la Bressande brilliantly expresses its Maconnais origins with aromas of dark limestone soil, buttery lemon curd and toasty brioche. Crisp, lemony and stony on the palate, the wine suffuses its juicy core of tangerine and yellow apple fruit with mineral undercurrents, balancing acidity, and complex notes of yellow corn and acacia blossom. Vinified in stainless steel, the wine finishes long and tangy with echoes of its calcareous terroir. As with all selections in Sangouard’s portfolio, this is superb, terroir-driven white Burgundy and a terrific value. It will wow as a welcome wine this spring, and perform as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, troute amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

GERMANY – WHITE

Quite possibly the quintessential spring wine, Hild’s Elbling joins Txakoli and Vinho Verde as our go-to quaffers as the sun assumes a more acute angle. Until the early 1900s, Elbling, one of the planet’s oldest grapes, was Germany's most widely planted variety. Today, it’s a mere footnote in the register, and one that primarily gets blended into Germany’s ubiquitous sparkling wine, Sekt. Matthias Hild’s zesty, bone-dry Elbling, however, is the varietal at its apogee: delicious, vivid and bursting with zippy lime, green plum, and Pippin apple fruit. Chalky minerals and jasmine blossoms join a zesty core of citrus fruit before the wine finishes juicy, mouthwatering and long. Pair now and over the coming two years with spring vegetables – asparagus, artichoke, nettles, fiddlehead ferns – or with poached halibut, oven-roasted mussels, or steamed Littleneck clams.

ITALY – WHITE

Falanghina is one of southern Italy’s most historic and noble white wine grapes. Thanks to modern, temperature-controlled fermentation, we can now capture and retain all of the Falanghina’s fragile floral and tropical fruit aromas. Brilliant lemon-gold with green highlights, Terredora’s Falanghina conveys beguiling scents of orange blossoms, yellow melon and volcanic minerals. On the palate, Terredora’s Falanghina presents suggestions of star fruit, Mirabelle plums and freshly cut pineapple. Fresh and snappy, the wine finishes with complex notes of quince, lemon zest and hops electrified by brisk acidity and spicy volcanic minerals. Very versatile at the table enjoy this superb Falanghina now and through 2016 with sushi, clams, mussels, squid, vegetarian fare and seafood pasta dishes sporting lots of fresh extra virgin olive oil fresh garlic.

PORTUGAL – WHITE

Pale, shimmering and vibrant with newly bottled freshness, the crisp Vinhos Verde of northeastern Portugal refresh and revive the spirit on hot sunny days. This brisk, mineral-driven Vinho Verde from Quinta da Aveleda still sports a whisper of trapped CO2 in its pale green-gold robe. Based on two classic varietals, Alvarinho and Loureiro, Quinta da Aveleda’s 2015 bottling casts notes of fennel, grapefruit and gardenia blossoms from the glass. Brisk, refreshing and low in alcohol, Aveleda’s 2015 bristles on the palate with notes of lemon zest, kiwi and muskmelon coupled with saline minerality and a hint of kaffir lime leaf. On the finish the wine’s lightness and verve combines with its zippy CO2 kick to wake up the palate and prepare it for another bite of fresh seafood, grilled summer squashes, light salads or pasta tossed in a light olive oil sauce. Buy plenty for the remaining warm months, but finish your stash before next spring.

SPAIN – WHITE

Aitzalde in Spain’s Basque region translates to “place of stone,” an apt name for this rocky vineyard that slopes straight down to the Atlantic Ocean. Pale green-tinted lemon-gold in color, the Aitzalde 2015 Txakoli offers salty, sea breeze-driven aromas of lime oil, green papaya and honeydew melon. Fresh with a happy dose of dissolved CO2, the Aitzalde’s lively, exuberant palate impression suggests lime zest, green plums and unripe kiwi. Brisk and saline on the finish, the wine adds notes of white grapefruit, lemon juice and fresh tarragon. Showing enough bristling acidity to handle the most wine-challenging vegetables – even asparagus and green beans – Aitzalde’s Txakoli is perfect paired with seafood, spring and summer market vegetables, and fresh halibut, ling cod and sablefish. Enjoy over the coming year to capture the wine’s youthful vigor.

LINER & ELSEN
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STORE HOURS:
Mon.-Sat. 10am - 6pm

CLOSED:
Mon. May 30, Memorial Day


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

May 6 - Celebrate Oregon Wine Month! Savor the best of Oregon wines.

May 20 - Great Spanish wines from the Rias Baixas and Bierzo regions.

June 3 - Rosé Night Fever: A preview of refreshing, delightful, thirst quenching rosé wines.


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

April 30 - From France: Our Rhone Valley Sampler. Plus, a sneak preview of new rosés!

May 7 – Meet Diana Lenzi of Fattoria Petroio, one of our favorite Chianti estates. Plus, from France: We pour our French Rosé Sampler, Bouchard Bourgogne Chardonnay Reserve, and Rabasse Charavin Cotes du Rhone.

May 14 - Great Italian Wines: Fattoria Villa Ligi Vernaculum Pergola Aleatico, Musto Carmelitano Maschitano Aglianico del Vulture, Cantina Sociale Cooperativa di Copertino Riserva, Capaccia Chianti Classic Riserva, Vajra Langhe Rosso, and Tintero Barbaresco.

May 21 - From La Belle France: Dom. du Pas Saint Martin Saumur Blanc La Pierre Frite, Sangouard-Guyot Macon-Villages Clos de la Bressande, Dom. des Terres Blanches Anjou Démon, and Triguedina Jean-Luc Baldès Malbec du Clos.

May 28 - Great wines from here and there: Swick Pinot Noir Les Sous-Bois (Washington State), Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde (Portugal), Txakoli Aitzalde Getariako Txakolina (Spain), Hild Elbling Trocken (Germany), and Nigl Grüner Veltliner Kremser Freiheit (Austria).

 

 

Mother's Day
Sunday, May 8

Wine makes the perfect gift!

Shop online or send a gift card

 


B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed

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