MARCH 2015 NEWSLETTER


RED WINES

 

OREGON - RED

2013 Hamacher Wines, Pinot Noir, “H,” Willamette Valley, Oregon 20.99/226.69

Winemaker Eric Hamacher’s 2013 “H” Series Pinot Noir is a knockout from the moment it’s poured. Sourced from estate fruit, the wine blossoms with aromas of black raspberries, earthy cranberries, cinnamon, sassafras and smoke. Conveying impressive clarity and a suave texture, Hamacher’s “H” Series Pinot follows its complex nose with a plump, focused palate of black cherries and black raspberries framed by subtle French oak barrel notes of toffee and maple syrup. Long and elegant on the finish, hints of tangy cherries, cola, violets, cloves and cinnamon complete this delicious, approachable Oregon Pinot. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with roast chicken, burgers, broiled salmon, grilled vegetables.

FRANCE - RED

2013 Vignoble Guillaume, Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays de Franche-Comte IGP, France 15.99/172.69

The Guillaume family is one of the world’s largest cultivators of vines, whose cuttings and grafts are planted throughout the New and Old Worlds. In the 1980s, Xavier Guillaume began crafting wines from the family’s expansive vineyard holdings between Burgundy and the Jura. Guillaume’s 2013 Pinot Noir gleams a transparent garnet color from the bowl followed by aromas of cherry skin, dried orange peel, potpourri and smoky limestone minerals. Brisk acidity elevates the wine’s crunchy core of red Pinot fruit alongside undertones of tarry, smoky earth. Fine tannins sneak in as the wine finishes crisp and crunchy with layers of bright red berry and cherry fruit complicated by a persistent clay-limestone mineral undercurrent. A delicious, light and appetizing Pinot to enjoy now and over the coming two years with poultry, rabbit, semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses, potatoes au gratin and light pork preparations. Oregon Pinot fans: we think you’ll enjoy tasting this next to your favorite Wädenswil cuvee.

2006 Olga Raffault, Chinon, Les Picasses, Loire Valley, France (S) 21.99/237.49

While many vintages of Les Picasses need years in the bottle to strut their stuff, Olga Raffault’s 2006 is utterly delicious and approachable now. Les Picasses, Raffault’s flagship vineyard, is a steep plot of alluvial clay, gravel, limestone and chalk. Here fifty-year-old vines produce a dense earthy, ruby-colored Cabernet Franc reminiscent of dark cherries, dried herbs and minerals. The bouquet conveys expressions of cherry skin, gravelly terroir, aromatic cedar, and bitter herbs. Soft and full in the mouth, the Picasses bursts on the mid-palate with chewy black currant fruit, mocha, sweet tobacco and a shimmering undercurrent of clay-gravel soil. Long, complex and earthy on the finish, Raffault’s 2006 Les Picasses balances its ripe fruit with firm acidity and fine-grained tannins. Drink now or over the coming ten years with roast shoulder of pork, chicken, duck or fresh chevres. Ten cases available.

2013 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie, Bourgeuil, Cuvee Alouettes, Loire Valley, France (S) 15.99/172.69

One of the most underrated of the world’s great wines, Bourgueil, along with its neighbor Chinon, are the planet’s benchmarks for the noble Cabernet Franc grape. Chanteleuserie’s Cuvee Alouettes, fashioned from Cabernet Franc planted on sandy clay soils, is the domaine’s most approachable and immediately delicious wine. Translucent ruby in the glass, the 2013 Cuvee Alouettes casts aromas of fresh black raspberry and currant fruit and violets, lifted by Bourgueil’s inimitable perfumed goût de terroir. Fresh, lively and immediately delicious, the wine saturates the palate with vibrant blackberry and black currant fruit, hints of tobacco, button mushrooms and appetizing herbal notes. Fine, buffered tannins and lovely hints of violets, pepper and licorice sneak in on the mid-palate and segue the wine to its long, fresh, soil-driven finish. As always, the Cuvee Alouettes is a stunning wine and a terrific value. We suggest buying a case to enjoy now and over the next decade with pork rillettes, rabbit in a mustard sauce, steak frites, grilled eggplant, fresh chevres, burgers, and roast poultry.

2013 Chateau Massiac, Sentinelle de Massiac, Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (CO) 11.99/129.49

Located just inland from Corbieres, the red wines of Minervois offer a plump mouthful of southern French goodness for a fraction of more famous appellations. In the center of Minervois proper, Bernard Boudouresques fashions his bold, full-throttle Sentinelle cuvee from a blend of Syrah and Carignan. The result is sensational: a deep plum-ruby in the glass leads to heady aromas plums, black pepper, dried herbs, juniper, cloves and spicy cinnamon. Lush and generous in the mouth, the Sentinelle follows up with pepper-infused plum and black cherry fruit backed by hints of tar, garrigue and smoky agave. Despite the intensity of flavors on the palate, the Sentinelle finishes deft and harmonious with lingering notes of cinnamon and sweet orange peel. This is a terrific go-to wine while the weather remains cool. Enjoy now and over the coming two years with grilled lamb chops, braised game, ratatouille and grilled sourdough slathered with garlicky tapenade.

2013 Domaine de la Biscarelle, Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, Rhone Valley, France (S) 14.99/161.89

Domaine de la Biscarelle’s Cotes-du-Rhone Villages is fashioned from old vines abutting the northwestern sector of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Essentially a baby Chateauneuf, Biscarelle’s blend of 55% Grenache is accented by 20% each Syrah and Carignan with a dollop of Cinsault thrown in for extra complexity. A classic, opaque plum-ruby color in the glass, Biscarelle’s Cotes-du-Rhone Villages opens with Chateauneuf-like aromas of black cherry fruit accented by hints of freshly cracked black pepper, fresh, sappy herbs and top notes of eucalyptus. Fresh and lively on the palate, firm, savory tannins serve to frame the wine’s sappy kernel of cassis and black cherry fruit. A chalky, stony terroir undercurrent emerges and segues the wine to its lingering finish of potpourri, sandalwood, brown spices and dried orange peel. Buy this especially elegant and graceful Cotes-du-Rhone Villages by the case for enjoyment now and over the next five years, to serve with roast herbed leg of lamb, mushroom duxelles, anchovy-rich tapenades and braised hare.

2011 J. L. Chave Selection, Cotes-du-Rhone, Mon Coeur, Rhone Valley, France (O) 17.99/194.29 Reg. 19.99

World famous for their benchmark white and red Hermitages, J. L. Chave Selection refers to the domaine’s negociant arm, which works with growers who share the Chave family’s dedication to organic farming and terroir expression. This blend of primarily Syrah and Grenache is the most expressive and open rendition of the cuvee yet. The 2011 Mon Coeur explodes with classic Southern Rhone aromas of black cherries, cassis, cola, black pepper and herbal garrigue. Broad and full on the attack, the wine saturates the palate with herb- and pepper-infused cherry, plum and black currant fruit backed by chewy tannins and hints of cinnamon and licorice. Notes of tobacco, violets, game and fiery peppercorns join plentiful, chewy tannins as the wine lingers on the palate. Chateauneuf, Gigondas and Rhone Valley fans owe it to themselves to experience this wine. Enjoy now for its youthful vigor with full-bodied southern French cuisine, and lay down a half case or more to allow the wine to flesh out over the coming decade.

2012 Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence, Provence, France (O) 20.99/226.69

The Mas de Gourgonnier is located in the unique, rocky, high-altitude microclimate of Provence called Les Baux for the name of the nearby town in which Bauxite was first mined. Farming organically, the Mas de Gourgonnier assembles their best lots of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan to fashion this always-delicious cuvee. A beautiful translucent crimson-ruby color, Mas de Gourgonnier 2012 casts beguiling aromas of sun-warmed plums, leather, sandalwood, cinnamon and bay leaf. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the wine’s core of chewy plum and cherry fruit is buttressed by firm tannins and earthy notes of game, leather and black trumpet mushrooms. Waves of lip-smacking tannins, brown spices and crisp currant fruit segue to a long, leather and garrigue accented finish. This is classic Provençal rouge with an appetizingly lithe profile, which makes it a lovely partner for all things Provençal, but especially lamb, quail, squab, rabbit, potatoes, mushrooms and eggplant. Enjoy now and over the next five to seven years. Very limited.

2012 Chateau Jouclary, Cuvee Tradition, Cabardes, France 13.99/151.09

A perennial favorite, Jouclary’s Cuvee Tradition delivers a mouthful of funky French goodness in the 2012 vintage. Casting a crimson-ruby hue from the glass, Jouclary’s Tradition seamlessly integrates its cassis-driven Merlot component (50%) with herbal and tarry complexities contributed by equal parts Grenache and Syrah. On the palate, the Cuvée Tradition offers fleshy plum and cherry fruit accented by undertones of tar, leather and dried herbs. Deep, soulful and satisfying, the wine adds hints of cloves, licorice and lavender before finishing with gorgeous earthy, mushroomy soil notes. As always, Jouclary’s Cuvée Tradition shines with deliciousness, terroir expression and value. Enjoy now and over the coming three to five years with hearty roasts of beef, grilled leg of lamb, roast goose, cassoulet, and other rich, robust and savory fare.

ITALY - RED

2010 Il Molino di Grace, Il Volano, Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy (S) 13.50/145.80

Il Molino di Grace, located just south of Panzano in the heart the prestigious Chianti Classico region, offers this delicious and accessible Toscana IGT. A luscious marriage of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Merlot, the Il Volano casts scents of macerated cherries, plums, leather, mushrooms and tar. Mature and fully resolved on the palate with the tannins already melted into the wine’s kernel of red fruit, the Volano’s Sangiovese component shines with mature nuances of blonde leather, button mushrooms, dried orange peel and sweet cinnamon. Long and lingering, the wine finishes elegantly with a classic Chianti soil signature. With so many 2010 Chianti’s a long way from maturity, it’s a pleasure to offer this ready-to-drink example from this heralded vintage. Supremely versatile, pair this now and over the coming three years with everything from sauteed squashes to pizzas, pastas, burgers and rib roasts of beef.

2013 Cabanon, Augurio, Provincia di Pavia, IGT, Lombardy, Italy (O) 13.99/151.09

This is a magnificent, distinctive, like-you’ve-never-tasted kind of wine that must be sampled to be believed. From a special sector in Lombardia’s Oltrepo Pavese zone, this organic blend of Bonarda (a.k.a. Croatina), Barbera, Uva Rara, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot is back and better than ever. Opaque plum-ruby in color, the Augurio (“good omen”) is bright, vibrant and delicious right from the moment it hits your glass. Wildly aromatic with a bouquet of cloves, maraschino cherries, violets, wintergreen and leather, the wine segues to a distinctly earthy palate impression suggesting sassafras, birch, cola, cinnamon and star anise. Fine tannins frame the wines juicy kernel of sweet cherry fruit while further notes of cedar, shoyu, tobacco, incense, Braulio amaro and eucalyptus appear on the wine’s long finish. Enjoy this delicious and fascinating Lombardian treasure now and over the coming five years with just about anything but seafood and green vegetables. Certainly one of the finest Italian red wine deals of the year!

2010 Franco Serra, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy 29.99/323.89

If you love transparent, pure, perfumed old-school Barolo, this wine is your ticket! We’re thrilled to present for the first time Serra’s majestic Barolo from the universally acclaimed 2010 vintage. The 2010 Barolo opens with aromas of Morello cherries, mushrooms, bay leaves, camphor and dried rose petals. Firm and classically austere, the wine saturates the palate with tangy cherry fruit, a sheath of firm tannins, spine tingling acidity, and complex suggestions of plums, cinnamon, blond tobacco, tar and white pepper. Fresh, poised and firmly structured, Serra’s Barolo finishes with length, complexity and reserve far beyond its laughably reasonable tariff. Enjoy now and over the coming two decades, served with tajarin and butter-sage sauce, beef brasato, risotto and semi-firm and firm cheeses. This is an outrageous deal on authentic, traditionally-styled Barolo. Order your case now!

SPAIN - RED

2013 Bodegas la Cartuja, La Cartuja, Priorat, Catalonia, Spain (O) 14.99/161.89

Aiming for approachability, affordability and authentic terroir expression, the Bodegas la Cartuja fashions this classic Priorat from 70% Garnacha and 30% Carinena grown on the slate volcanic soils found in the denominación’s finest sites. A translucent black plum color, the La Cartuja opens with deep aromas of black licorice, blueberries, tar, sweet brown spices and pungent minerals. Bold and fleshy on the attack, the La Cartuja stains the palate with an impressive kernel of macerated blueberry and black cherry fruit spiced discreetly by hints of new French oak, dark roasted coffee, and herbal notes of bay leaf and fresh thyme. Long, lingering and thoroughly satisfying, the La Cartuja finishes with reprises of blueberry and cherry infused with flinty graphite and slate minerals. With top Priorats fetching stratospheric prices, it’s a pleasure to offer an authentic example that conveys the region’s distinctive soil signature at a most comfortable tariff. Enjoy this beauty now and over the next three years with beef brisket, cured meats, pork braises, game, rustic mushroom preparations, and potato tapas.

WHITE WINES

OREGON - WHITE

2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Pinot Gris Reserve, Clover, Willamette Valley, Oregon 17.99/194.29

Otherwise known for his Matello brand, Marcus Goodfellow now labels his fantastic Clover Reserve Pinot Gris under his new, eponymous moniker. A classic lemon gold in the glass, Goodfellow’s Clover opens with aromas of smoke, raw hazelnuts, lemon zest and tart pear. Bright and lively on the palate, the Clover presents subtle notes of barrel smoke, cashews, lemon drops and dried bay leaf. Crisp, coiled and bristling with acidity, the Clover finishes long and taut with a latent core of complexity that just needs a little more time to fully reveal itself. While Goodfellow’s Clover can be broached now, please be sure to serve it at cool cellar temperature, rather than chilled, and give it plenty of air. Ideally, place your stash in your cellar for three to seven years and wait for the genie within to work her magic. Pair with broiled salmon, roast chicken, tartiflette, and sauteed spring morel mushrooms.

FRANCE - WHITE

2013 Chateau Soucherie, Anjou Blanc, Cuvee les Rangs de Long, Loire Valley, France 17.99/194.29

This is a superb expression of Anjou Chenin Blanc and a testament to the winemaking skills of the talented Thibaud Boudignon at Chateau Soucherie. A lovely medium lemon gold color, Soucherie’s Rangs de Long unfurls with classic Anjou Chenin aromas of beeswax, honeydew melon, lanolin and smoky schistose minerals. Bone dry and incisive on the palate, notes of quince, lemon juice, white grapefruit mingle with a persistent waves of smoky and chalky minerals. The Chenin’s sexy waxiness gains texture as the wine warms, while its riveting acidity leaves the palate refreshed and exhilarated. Enjoy now and over the next eight years with white-fleshed fish preparations, white asparagus with a hollandaise sauce, light pork and poultry recipes and oven roasted potatoes. Decant well in advance: this beauty needs air.

2014 Les Costieres de Pomerols, Picpoul de Pinet, HB, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 12.50/135.00

This is the granddaddy that literally established Picpoul as a staple for lovers of crisp, dry, seafood-friendly white wines. Picpoul, or “lip stinger” in local dialect, is often called the Muscadet of the South. A Chablis-like green-gold in color, the Picpoul casts aromatic notes of key lime juice, white grapefruit, Bartlett pear and flinty minerals from the glass. The wine’s wonderfully juicy palate conveys suggestions of ginger, lemongrass, crisp fennel and stony soil. Clean and super-refreshing on the finish, the HB 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.

2012 Domaine de Reuilly, Reuilly Blanc, Les Pierres Plates, Loire Valley, France (B) 17.99/194.29

In the east-central Loire Valley, Reuilly’s soils boast the same Kimmeridgean limestone that lends distinctive freshness and minerality to the greatest wines of Chablis and Sancerre. Denis Jamain’s Les Pierres Plates Reuilly hails from a specific vineyard whose soil is especially full of chalk, fossils and seashells. A brilliant green-tinted lemon gold in the glass, Jamain’s Reuilly explodes with aromas of flint, gardenia blossom, pear skin and green tea. Bristling with acidity and dissolved minerals, the wine impales the palate with juicy grapefruit accented by hints of white pepper, nettles, spearmint and tarragon. Smoky, flinty, chalky minerals define the wine’s gorgeously long, crisp finish. Enjoy this uncompromisingly soil-driven Sauvignon Blanc now and over the coming year with green vegetables, lightly dressed salads, steamed clams and mussels, and oysters on the half-shell.

2011 Guy Bocard, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France 19.99/215.89 Reg. 27.99

White Burgundy lovers take note: the confluence of top producer, approachable vintage, affordable price, and authentic Burgundian limestone terroir expression make this the white Burgundy buy of the year! Meursault superstar Guy Bocard fashions his Bourgogne Chardonnay from vines within the famed village of Meursault, but just outside the appellation’s borders. True Meursault character, however, shines through in the 2011 vintage. A brilliant lemon-gold with green glints, Bocard’s Bourgogne casts aromas of yellow apples, hazelnuts and acacia blossoms. Fleshy and approachable on the palate, the wine meshes a palate of pear skin, lemongrass and crunchy raw hazelnuts. Smoky limestone minerals appear on the wine’s long, satisfying finish. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with roast chicken or duck, pan-seared pork loin chops, blanquette de veau, and potatoes au gratin. Limited.

ITALY - WHITE

2013 Gumphof, Weissburgunder (Pinot Bianco), Sudtirol, Alto Adige, Italy (O) 16.99/183.49

This is knockout Pinot Bianco, and one of the clearest, cleanest and most transparent expressions of the varietal in our memories. The Gumphof estate’s organic vineyards, nestled in the steep, high-altitude slopes of the Sudtirol’s hallowed Isarco Valley, yield wines of impressive character and distinction. Their 2013 Weissburgunder – or Pinot Bianco – casts a brilliant green-glinted lemon gold color in the glass alongside Alpine-fresh aromas of Golden Delicious apples, chamomile and honeysuckle blossoms. Pulsing with energy on the palate, Gumphof’s Weissburgunder shows fleshy Meyer lemon and Comice pear fruit complicated by top notes of wintergreen and bitter medicinal herbs. Smoky limestone minerals enter the picture as the wine transitions from the palate to its long, juicy finish. Pair this organically farmed beauty now and over the coming two years with lighter fare such as sauteed green leafy vegetables, summer squashes, earthy lentils, shellfish, sushi and sashimi.

2013 Cantina del Castello, Soave Classico, Castello, Veneto, Italy 14.99/161.89

From vineyards exclusively in the heart of Soave’s Classico zone, Arturo Stocchetti crafts a full portfolio of classically styled Soaves. This is Stocchetti’s Castello bottling, a blend of 90% Garganega and 10% Trebbiano di Soave fermented and aged in stainless steel to deliver maximum freshness. A lovely pale lemon-gold in the glass, the Castello Soave opens with a bouquet of key lime zest, white meadow flowers, mountain herbs and smoky basaltic soil. Crisp and juicy on the palate, the wine expresses delicious notes of white grapefruit, lemon curd and eucalyptus buoyed by saline minerality. Clean and fresh on the back end, the Castello lingers long on the palate with reprises of crisp citrus fruits accented by a subtle almond skin note. Enjoy this juicy and delicious Soave now and over the coming two years with canapes, fresh goat cheeses, lightly-sauced freshwater fish dishes and zucchini frittatas.

ROSE WINE

OREGON - ROSE

2014 Patton Valley Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Rose, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 17.99/194.29

Patton Valley Vineyard’s always delicious, and always in-demand, rose has just been released. We’re not going to pull any punches: reserve your stash now before the warm weather hits, because by then it will surely be sold out. A lovely pale watermelon in the glass, Patton Valley’s rose casts springtime aromas of golden raspberries, Rainier cherries, crushed herbs and loamy soil. Crisp and crunchy on the palate, notes of white currants, red raspberries and earthy cranberries mingle with a bracing acidic spine and complex notes of rose petals, bay leaves, sea salt and white pepper. Refreshing and oh-so-easy to drink, the wine’s low 12.9% alcohol content guarantees that you will have no problem finishing off your case before the end of the year. Delicious by itself and a lovely partner for grilled salmon, steelhead, squashes, sauteed chard and roast chicken.

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


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

MARCH 6 - The superb 2010 Barolos are arriving!

MARCH 20 - Sizzling red and white wines from Mt. Etna, Sicily. Guaranteed to wow.

APRIL 3 - White Burgundies from the Beaune appellation.


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

FEB. 28 - Viva la France! Dom. Labet Chardonnay Fleurs, François Cazin Le Petit Chambord Cheverny, Dom. Filliatreau h. Fouquet Saumur, and Pichot Roucas Vin de Pays de Méditeranée.

MARCH 7 - From Oregon: Marcus Goodfellow from Matello and Goodfellow Family Cellars will pour some great Oregon wines. From France: Ch. Soucherie Anjou Blanc, Ch. Massiac Sentinelle de Massiac, Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, and J. L. Chave Sélection Côtes-du-Rhône Mon Coeur.

MARCH 14 - From Oregon: Mike Weirick from Ore Winery will pour some superb Oregon reds and white. Italian beauties: from Cantina del Castello Soave, Gumphof Weissburgunder, Cabanon Augurio, Il Molino di Grace Il Volano, and Franco Serra Barolo.

MARCH 21 - From France: Dom. de Reuilly Les Pierres Plates, Guy Bocard Chardonnay, Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir, Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence, and Dom. de la Chanteleuserie Bourgeuil Alouettes.

MARCH 28 - A mixed bag of goodness: Les Costieres de Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet, Dom. de la Biscarelle Côtes-du-Rhône, Patton Valley Pinot Noir Rosé, H Pinot Noir, and Bodegas la Cartuja, La Cartuja Priorat.


SPECIAL EVENT AT L&E:

A Tasting of 2005 Burgundies from Vosne-Romanee

Tuesday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.

Please join for a thirteen bottle tasting of Vosne-Romanee wines from the highly touted 2005 vintage. Seating is limited and pre-payment is required. Fee: $100 per person.

Reserve Now

 


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.