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

 

NOVEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES


OREGON

2015 Vincent Wine Company, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S)
19.99/215.89

Vincent’s 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir casts a lovely dusty crimson-garnet robe followed by cool aromas of pomegranate, rhubarb, cranberry and loamy earth. On the palate, the wine’s energetic kernel of pomegranate and red raspberry fruit seemingly bursts berry by berry, followed by a light, deft palate presence and complex suggestions of cinnamon, mint and tart cherry. Extraordinarily cool and vibrant given the warmth and dryness of the 2015 vintage, we applaud Vincent (and his growers) for crafting such a classically elegant, vibrant and delicious Pinot. An ideal red to grace your Thanksgiving table, it will also gain texture and complexity with three to five years in your cool cellar.

FRANCE

2013 Oinos, Corbieres, Les Carderes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 9.50/102.60

The rugged landscape of Corbieres, just outside Narbonne, produces some of the Languedoc’s wildest and most characterful wines. Oinos’ Les Carderes – the teasels – is a textbook introduction to Corbieres’ rustic charms and sauvagerie. A delicious cuvee of Syrah (50%), Grenache (25%) and Carignan (25%) from the cool, lively 2013 vintage, Oinos’ Les Carderes shines with an opaque black plum robe and zesty aromas of blackberries, cassis, black pepper, leather and garrigue. Bright and peppery on the palate, the Carderes’ kernel of blackberry fruit fuses with complex suggestions of violets, mushrooms, vine smoke and black licorice. Supple, chewy tannins segue the wine to its spicy, 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.

2014 Domaine la Fourmone, Gigondas, Le Fauquet, S. Rhone Valley, France (S) 21.99/237.49

The 2014 Cuvee Le Fauquet earns consistent accolades from critics in France, Britain and America, including Josh Raynolds, who raved: “Deep ruby. An expressive bouquet evokes red berry liqueur, peppery spices, potpourri and a whisper of garrigue. Stains the palate with juicy raspberry and cherry flavors that pick up a lavender pastille nuance and turn sweeter with air. Rich but lithe and vibrant, displaying very good finishing clarity and youthful tannic grip.” Your humble servants at L&E love it for its bright cherry and garrigue-scented Grenache expression, its lush texture, and the absence of any wood influence. A terrific value in authentic, bright, tangy, herb-driven Gigondas, it 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.
- Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media: 90 points

2014 Domaine Pascal Aufranc, Chenas, Vignes de 1939, Beaujolais, France (S) 13.99/151.09

From 75-year-old vines in Chenas, Beaujolais’ smallest cru, Pascal Aufranc’s 2014 Chenas opens with an opaque black-ruby color and pure, soil-perfumed aromas of freshly crushed black raspberries, cassis, black pepper, smoky granitic minerals and spicy cinnamon. On the palate, Aufranc’s Chenas stains the palate with blackberry and elderberry fruit complemented by plentiful chewy tannins, tangy acidity, dusty granitic minerals and floral notes of iris and violet. The wine’s old-vine concentration echoes on its long, persistent finish, adding notes of herbs, mustard seed, fruitwood smoke and bitter orange peel. Delicious now with a vigorous decant, Aufranc’s Chenas also has the poise and concentration to improve over the next seven years. Pair with the full spectrum of poultry and small birds – including Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings. It will also serve as a lovely foil for braised rabbit, coq au vin, hearty stews and dishes featuring chanterelle mushrooms.
- Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media: 92 points

ITALY

2012 Antonio Scala, Ciro Rosso, Classico Superiore, Calabria, Italy 13.50/145.80

Calabria, the toe of Italy’s “boot,” is a rugged region where vineyards sweep right down to the beaches along the Ionian Sea. Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore is made from the rare indigenous Gaglioppo grape, grown exclusively from vineyards in Ciro’s historical core. Opaque crimson-tinged ruby in the bowl, Scala’s Ciro Rosso captures Gaglioppo’s rustic goodness with deep aromas of black currant fruit infused with suggestions of leather, mint and ferrous soil. On the palate, the Rosso delivers a rustic, chewy texture packed with lip-smackingly delicious sour cherry and black currant fruit balanced by plentiful, food-friendly tannins, dark tobacco and black licorice. The wine finishes long, firm and delicious, revisiting its brisk kernel of currant fruit while adding hints of herbs, ferrous minerals and mushroomy underbrush. Charmingly rustic and ready to go, Scala’s Ciro is 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 core of dusty cherry fruit.

2010 Cosimo Taurino, Salice Salentino, Riserva, Puglia, Italy (S) 12.50/135.00

Since the early 1980s, Dottor Cosimo Taurino’s Salice Salentino has been one of the world’s greatest wine values and a perennial staff favorite to boot. Back in our market after a long, much-lamented absence, Taurino’s newly released 2010 Riserva reestablishes Taurino’s legend by boasting a black cherry robe with orange highlights and classic Salice Salentino aromas of wild cherries, tobacco, dried herbs and mushroomy earth. On the palate, Taurino’s 2010 Salice conveys tangy bitter cherry fruit complemented by plentiful tannins and complex undertones of leather and tobacco. After coating the palate with its ripe, rustic fruit and earthy sotto bosco notes, the Salice cleanses it with food-friendly acidity and finishing dashes of red plum, bay leaf, blood orange and dusty limestone minerals. This spicy, balanced, soil-infused finish lingers and begs you to take another bite of pizza margherita, pasta in a sun-dried tomato, pine nut and olive oil sauce or grilled sausages. Taurino’s classic blend of Negroamaro (90%) and Malvasia Nera (10%) remains the Salice standard and, as always, it’s a terrific value.

2015 Cavallotto, Dolcetto d’Alba, Vigna Scot, Piedmont, Italy (O)
15.99/172.69 reg. 17.99

Bristling with youthful energy, firmly tannic and uncomplicated by oak, Cavallotto’s Dolcetto epitomizes the convivial, easy-to-drink nature of the Dolcettos you would experience in the caffes and osterias in the Langhe. The wine, however, possesses far more structure and complexity, thanks to the old vines, the extraordinary vintage, and the superiority of the vineyard site. A dense, youthful purple-ruby color in the glass, Cavallotto’s Vigna Scot casts earthy, soil-driven aromas of black cherries, cassis and dusty earth. On the palate, Cavallotto’s Dolcetto frames bitter cherry fruit with fine tannins and complex suggestions of menthol, bitter chocolate, almond skin, fiery white pepper and dusty limestone earth. Aimed directly at the Piedmont purists among you, enjoy this serious and seriously delicious Dolcetto now and over the coming five years with Piemontese primi and antipasti like carne cruda, risotto, vegetable flans, pates and mushroom dishes. It will also prove delicious served with everyday fare like pizzas, burgers, casseroles, and pan-seared pork chops.

2013 Massimo Clerico, Costa della Sesia Rosso, Ca’ du Leria, Alto Piemonte, Italy 17.99/194.29

This is delicious, brilliant and affordable Alto Piemontese rosso and a terrific, everyday alternative to pricier Barolos, Barbarescos and Gattinaras. The tiny Massimo Clerico estate produces wines exclusively from grapes grown in his own vineyards, most of which surround the family home steep slopes overlooking the town of Lessona. A blend of Nebbiolo (50%), Croatina (30%) and Vespolina (20%), Clerico’s Ca’ du Leria casts a transparent garnet color followed by intense aromas of cinnamon, garam masala, pomegranate and dark limestone soil. Vibrant on the palate, the wine’s high altitude freshness fills the senses with sour cherry fruit backed by blond tobacco, brown spices and licorice. Dusty limestone minerals segue the Ca’ du Leria to its long, tense and energetic finish that reprises the wine’s brilliant cherry fruit and electric limestone minerality. Pair this Rosso now and over the coming five years with roast poultry, meats and game, salumi, egg-rich pasta preparations, mushroom risottos and Piemontese cheeses like Toma Piemontese, Bra Duro and Castelmagno.

SPAIN

2004 Vina Olabarri, Rioja, Gran Reserva, Spain 19.99/215.89 reg. 26.99

At the pinnacle of Rioja’s wine hierarchy is the esteemed Gran Reserva, a wine that has spent a minimum of two years in oak barrels and an additional three years in bottle before release. The complexity that this leisurely and expensive aging period affords is immense, as exemplified by this twelve-year-old Rioja Reserva from Vina Olabarri. Opaque black cherry in the glass, Olabarri’s 2004 Gran Reserva casts tobacco and cedar infused aromas of Montmorency cherries, red plums, cured meat and mint. Deepened and made complex by its long barrel aging, Olabarri’s classic Rioja fusion of Tempranillo (80%) and a blend of Graciano and Mazuelo saturates the palate with bright red currant and cherry fruit backed by a fine-grained tannins and classic Tempranillo acidity. Hints of camphor, cigar tobacco, leather, coconut husk, game and vanilla creep in on the wine’s long, structured finish. This is classic, old-school Rioja Reserva, and a wine that can be enjoyed now with hearty roasts of beef and grilled lamb. Or, ideally, stash it away in a cool cellar for another decade or two to allow all the structural components to meld together. At its sub-$20 price tag, this is a world-class value.

WHITE WINES


OREGON

2015 Vincent Wine Company, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S)
18.99/205.09

Crafted in a Burgundian style, Vincent’s 2015 Pinot Blanc – fermented on indigenous yeasts in neutral oak barrels – shines from the glass with a Chablis-like pale green-gold color and beguiling aromas of tangerine, wintergreen, raw hazelnuts and a wisp of smoke. Rich and velvety on the palate, the wine presents nuances of pear skin, yellow apples and lime zest. Layered and nuanced, the wine deftly walks the tightrope between rich, fleshy orchard fruits, crunchy hazelnuts and zesty, fresh citrus peel. This is to say that the wine is absolutely delicious and a superb, local choice for a Thanksgiving white wine. Pair now and over the coming three years with light poultry and pork dishes, simple fish preparations and vegetable souffles.

2015 Cameron Winery, Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 18.99/205.09

Bigger, funkier and altogether sexier, this is Cameron’s most impressive Dundee Hills Chardonnay yet. In the rich, full-throttle 2015 vintage, winemaker-owner John Paul and his team declassified old-vine fruit from their top-notch Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique vineyards to create another knockout value Chardonnay. Deep lemon-gold in the glass, Cameron’s 2015 Dundee Hills Chardonnay offers rich aromas of butterscotch, toasted hazelnuts, vanilla bean and yellow apple skin. Brimming with intense, small-berried fruit, sexy barrel notes and impressively rich texture, Cameron’s 2015 Chardonnay performs like a young, accessible Corton-Charlemagne. Still youthful but packed with promise, the wine finishes with hints of freshly squeezed ginger, spicy Dundee Hills minerality, and suave barrel notes of vanilla and toffee. It impresses now for its youthful energy, but will reward the patient with richer fruit and a silkier texture. As with all of Cameron’s releases, this beauty will go fast, so be sure call and reserve your case now for enjoyment tonight and over the next seven years. Serve at cool cellar temperature.

AUSTRIA

2015 Nigl, Gruner Veltliner, Kremser Freiheit, Kremstal, Austria 18.99/205.09

This is the most intense and kaleidoscopic Nigl Freiheit ever! Unquestionably one of Austria’s elite estates, Nigl crafts focused, chiseled wines of impeccable detail and transparency. We’re thrilled by Nigl’s always-delicious Gruner Veltliner Freiheit, perhaps the greatest value in the estate’s exemplary portfolio. In the delicious 2015 Austrian vintage, the Freiheit rises to new heights with exceptional ripeness, balance, mineral tension and an unprecedented lashing of that good ol’ Gruner goodness we so adore. The wine casts a pale green-gold hue followed by rich, smoky aromas of yellow plums, lentils, toasted barley and caraway seeds. The palate is saturated with earthy plum and apricot fruit, accented by suggestions of white pepper, blond tobacco, ginger, mint and salty minerals. While one can serve the wine chilled and be suitably refreshed, ideally it deserves a red wine glass with a big bowl to allow its multitude of aromas to adequately develop. Enjoy now and over the coming two years with sauteed green vegetables, grilled zucchini, braised pork and roast chicken.


FRANCE

2015 La Chapelle du Bastion, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc, France 11.50/124.20

Picpoul, or “lip stinger” in local dialect, is often called the Muscadet of the South. Night harvesting, gentle handling and cool fermentation capture the grape’s zingy acidity to make it Southern France’s most refreshing white wine. A Chablis-like green-gold in color, La Chapelle du Bastion’s Picpoul casts aromatic notes of unripe pineapple, cling peach, ruby grapefruit and freshly shaved fennel. The Picpoul’s wonderfully juicy palate conveys suggestions of lemongrass, papaya, fresh bay leaf, basil and smoky limestone minerals. Crisp, clean and super-refreshing on the finish, the La Chapelle du Bastion’s Picpoul begs you to pair it now and over the coming year with delicate white-fleshed fish dishes, grilled and sauteed zucchini, calamari, periwinkles and oysters. At its most affordable tariff, La Chapelle du Bastion’s Picpoul will also serve as a terrific year ’round aperitif.

2015 Francois Cazin, Cheverny, Le Petit Chambord, Loire Valley, France (S) 14.99/161.89

Francois Cazin’s Cheverny is the benchmark for the delicious and affordable Sauvignon Blanc-based wines from this increasingly important central Loire Valley appellation. Cazin’s 2015 Cheverny is based on a snappy core of grassy, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc (70%) with a dollop of Chardonnay (30%) added for richness and texture. In a remarkable vintage like 2015, this refreshing blend yields a wine with a bold, expressive bouquet of white grapefruit, bitter orange, preserved lemon, basil and flinty minerals. On the palate, Cazin’s 2015 Cheverny conveys resinous suggestions of pineapple, yellow apple and grapefruit lifted by brisk acidity, green basil and smoky minerals. Reprises of juicy grapefruit and golden apple fruit join with notes of white pepper, menthol and flinty minerals to highlight the wine’s long, refreshing finish. Very versatile with food, this impressive, affordable Cheverny will complement simple roasted pheasant, chicken, shellfish, freshwater fish dishes, fresh chevres and light pork preparations. This is a wine to buy by the case to enjoy now and over the coming two years.

2015 Domaine Bernard Defaix, Chablis, Burgundy, France (CO) 18.99/205.09

Here is a rich, layered Chablis of unusual value crafted from vineyards in the very heart of the Chablis appellation. A brilliant green-glinted lemon-gold in the glass, Bernard Defaix’s certified organic Chablis casts aromas of briny oyster shells, lemon juice and iodine. Brisk yet resinous on the attack, Defaix’s 2015 Chablis fuses a juicy core of lemon and green apple fruit with lilting acidity and a persistent undercurrent of flinty, oyster shell minerality. Classically brisk but impressively textured on the palate, this is superb Chablis that combines the region’s special Kimmeridgean limestone mineral expression with textured lemony Chardonnay fruit and saline suggestions of iodine and sea spray. The wine will prove a lovely foil for oysters, clams, mussels, prawns and the entire spectrum of fish and shellfish. Enjoy this delicious, complete and versatile Chablis now and over the coming three years.

2014 Thevenet & Fils, Macon Pierreclos, Burgundy, France 17.99/194.29

White Burgundy lovers revere the honest, old-school wines of the Saint-Veran-based Thevenet family. Their holdings are centered on their village of Pierreclos in the heart of the Burgundy’s Maconnais zone. From vines with an average age of 45 years, Thevenet’s 2014 Macon Pierreclos opens with a pale lemon-gold color and leesy aromas of Bosc pear, ginger and lemon curd. Tense on the plate with rich Chardonnay fruit countered by brisk, citric acidity, Thevenet’s Macon Pierreclos opens to reveal notes of Seville oranges, menthol and smoky limestone minerals. The wine finishes deeply flavored yet deft on the palate with creamy, lemony white Burgundy notes complicated by leesy richness, refreshing acidity and savory limestone soil tones. A superb buy in elegant, affordable, soil-focused Burgundy, Thevenet’s Macon Pierreclos should be enjoyed now and over the coming five years with broiled salmon, pan-seared chicken breast, medium aged chevres, and recipes highlighting the noble chanterelle. Please serve cool, not cold.

GERMANY

2015 Stein, Dry Riesling, Blue Slate, Mosel, Germany 16.99/183.49

Dr. Ulrich Stein is the wine geek’s ultimate wine geek, flying against every economically viable convention known to mankind. He farms impossibly steep, long-forgotten vineyards and rails against the 1971 German wine law that values sugar levels over the greatness of finished wine or its inherent terroir. Mostly, it seems, he’s on a mission to prove that the millennia-old viticultural tradition of farming the Mosel’s impossibly steep slopes and are worth upholding… at any cost. To wit: we offer this affordable Riesling Qualitatswein that simply bleeds the Mosel’s inimitable blue slate minerality. Showing crystalline clarity and perfumed with persistent slate overtones, Stein’s Blue Slate Dry Riesling conveys a racy core of yellow plum, white peach and juicy citrus fruit and a hint of wild yeast spice that propels the wine’s mineral expression and lifts its fruit. Hand harvested from old vines on the steepest slopes in the vinous world, the Riesling is impeccably balanced, incredibly food versatile, and oh-so-drinkable. If the entry of Miles Davis’s first trumpet solo on Kind of Blue’s “So What” raises the hair on your neck, this is your wine. If you serve only one wine at your Thanksgiving table, let it be this.

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

CLOSED:
Thanksgiving Day
Thurs., Nov. 24


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

Nov. 4
World-Class Syrah from Cornas

Nov. 18
Oregon Pinot Noir, Vintage 2014: Cristom, Thomas, Ayoub, Cameron, and more.

Dec. 2
An Awesome Flight of Super-Tuscans!


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

Nov. 5
Vignamaggio tasting with Todd Bacon.
Plus, we pour Stein Blue Slate Dry Riesling, Nigl Gruner Veltliner Freiheit, and Vina Olabarri Rioja Gran Reserva.

Nov. 12
Great wines from France
: La Chapelle du Bastion Picpoul de Pinet, Francois Cazin Le Petit Chambord Cheverny, Dom. Bernard Defaix Chablis, Thevenet Macon Pierreclos, Dom. Pascal Aufranc Chenas Vignes de 1939 Beaujolais, Oinos Les Carderes, and Dom. la Fourmone Gigondas Le Fauquet.

Nov. 19
From Oregon
: Vincent Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir, and Cameron Chardonnay. Plus, our fabulous sparkling wine selections: Eugene Carrel Brut Vin de Savoie, Dom. Allimant-Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Rose Alsace, and Pierre Paillard Brut Grand Cru Bouzy Champagne.

Nov. 26
From Italy:
Antonio Scala Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore, Dr. Cosimo Taurino Salice Salentino Riserva, Cavallotto Dolcetto d’Alba Vigna Scot, and Massimo Clerico Ca’ du Leria.



SPECIAL EVENTS:

Vignamaggio Tasting
with Todd Bacon

Saturday, Nov 5, 12-4:00 p.m.

We are pleased to be serving wines from one of the most esteemed wineries in Tuscany. The complete list will appear on our website. No reservations required; no fee.




Taste Great Barolos with Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo

Monday, Nov. 7, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Please join us for a tasting of great wines from the Piedmont. In the recent past we had the opportunity to taste the great Barolos from Montezemolo going back over six decades -- they are what Barolo drinkers dream about! The complete list of wines will appear on our website. No reservations are necessary. Tasting fee: $10.

 

We are closed for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24.

Happy holiday 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.