DECEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER



BACK FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
OUR OREGON PINOT NOIR SAMPLERS

Our best-selling case samplers are selected by experts and priced to perfection!. Buy as gifts or to take home for your holiday table and your cellar. Each sampler consists of two bottles each of the following wines:

The Fort Knox Oregon Pinot Noir Sampler … 399.99

2011 Brittan, Basalt Vineyard
2012 Crowley, La Colina Vineyard Cuvee L&E
2013 Patricia Green Cellars, Olenik Vineyard
2012 Broadley, Claudia’s Choice
2011 Alloro, Chehelem Mountain
2011 Belle-Pente, Murto Vineyard


The Value Oregon Pinot Noir Sampler … 224.99


2012 Cristom, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee
2013 Broadley, Willamette Valley
2013 Jackalope Wine Cellars
2011 Dopp Creek
2012 Lundeen, Mon Pere
2012 Arterberry Maresh


 


OUR SUPERB COTES DU RHONE SAMPLER

There’s no place like Rhone for the holidays! We think is one of our finest samplers from the Rhone Valley. Each sampler consists of three bottles of the following selections:

Cotes du Rhone Sampler ... 184.00

2012 La Roubine, Sablet (16.99/183.49)
2011 Jean Deydier, Cotes du Rhone Villages (16.99/183.49)
2012 Cote de l’Ange, Cotes du Rhone (18.99/205.09)
2011 Guigal, Cotes du Rhone (15.99/172.69)


 


RED WINES

OREGON – RED

Also see: OREGON PINOT NOIR SAMPLERS (described above)

2012 Lundeen Estate, Pinot Noir, Mon Pere, Willamette Valley, Oregon | 17.99/194.29

Folks, this is a smashing sub-$20 Oregon Pinot and a delicious, classic example of the Willamette Valley’s outstanding 2012 Pinot vintage. Sourced from the heart of Michael Lundeen’s Poverty Bend Estate Vineyard, the 2012 Mon Pere Pinot Noir casts a translucent garnet robe and high-toned, herb-inflected notes of earthy cranberries, red raspberries, cinnamon and brown spices. Lush and velvety on a palate that features a core of spicy red raspberry fruit, the wine adds further complexity with notes of cinnamon bark, nutmeg, wood smoke and tobacco. Fine, framing tannins and tangy acidity emerge on the long, spicy finish. Enjoy this splendid value now and over the coming three years with broiled salmon, potatoes au gratin, roast chicken, lasagna in a bechamel sauce and roast pork loin.

AUSTRIA – RED

2012 Claus Preisinger, Basic, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria (B) | 16.99/183.49

Working biodynamically and focusing on red wines, Claus Preisinger is one of Austria’s brightest and most talented young winemakers. Preisinger’s entry-level red is a blend of equal parts Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Transparent ruby in the glass and sporting vibrant aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and loamy earth, the wine works like a delicious cru Beaujolais, but with Pinot Noir’s earthy cranberry notes and a leathery Syrah-like baritone note. Fresh, brisk energetic and versatile, the 2012 Basic displays vibrant fruit, energy to burn and a leafy undertone. A versatile partner for medium-weight preparations like roast poultry, dishes laden with fresh chanterelles, sausages, charcuterie and earthy vegetarian risottos.

FRANCE – RED

Also see: COTES DU RHONE SAMPLER (described above)

2012 Jean-Maurice Raffault, Chinon, Les Galuches, Loire Valley, France (S) | 13.99/151.09

Chinon’s inimitable dusty, gravelly soil signature is on full display for all to enjoy in this lovely, affordable Cabernet Franc from the Jean-Maurice Raffault domaine. Raffault’s 2012 Chinon opens with a lovely plum-ruby robe, saturated blackberry fruit, gravelly terroir, and hints of menthol. Framed by fine, lip-smacking tannins, the Galuches offers a graceful, transparent palate expression of luscious cherry, blackberry and currant fruit lifted by Chinon’s special dusty soil signature. A lovely choice for cool winter evenings, Raffault’s 2012 Galuches is juicy, delicious and ready-to-go now for steak frites, burgers, roast chicken, pork loin or other bistro food. It will also improve in your cool cellar for five to seven years.

2013 Domaine de la Mavette, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Southern Rhone Valley, France (O) | 7.99/86.29

This beautiful Vin de Pays from Gigondas-based Domaine de la Mavette offers delicious, old-school Southern Rhone at an everyday price. A blend of Grenache (60%), Carignane (30%), Syrah and Cinsault, Mavette’s Vin de Pays de Vaucluse is vinified traditionally in cement and bottled without the influence of wood. The wine opens with a translucent deep plum-ruby color followed by a gorgeous bouquet of black cherries, licorice, incense, tar and herbal garrigue. On the palate, lush cherry, plum and red currant fruit notes are joined by accents of lavender, licorice, tar and menthol. The Mavette’s long finish features a generous lashing of tannins and hints of freshly ground black pepper. While Mavette’s 2013 Vin de Pays can be broached now, it will reward cellaring for two to four years. Serve this lovely traditionally-styled Vin de Pays with a broad range of foods from ratatouille, cured meats, grilled lamb, burgers, pork and roast duck.

2011 Domaine Labranche Laffont, Madiran, Southwest France (O) | 14.99/161.89

Upon the sudden death of her legendary father, Christine Dupuy took over her family’s estate in 1993 and became the youngest female winemaker in the Madiran AOC. Talented and confident, Dupuy’s aim was simple: produce quality wines and fight against the trend of stereotyped wines. Her 2011 Madiran is a convincing testament to her success. A blend of Tannat (70%) with dollops of Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, the Laffont 2011 Madiran casts an opaque black plum color followed by heady aromas of blackberries, earth and eucalyptus. Silky on the attack, the wine quickly transitions to reveal a firm, classic Madiran tannic backbone and deep flavors of licorice, bitter herbs, bitter chocolate and espresso. Graceful and elegant despite its depth and structure, this characterful and heart-healthy masterpiece finishes with grip, zeal and an abundance of energy. Pair it with the heartiest of fare: grilled eggplant, roast goose, potatoes au gratin, and anything scented with black truffles. This is must-try Madiran that’s packed with cardiologist-approved resveratrol and loads of personality!

2011 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune-Villages, Burgundy, France | 20.99/226.69

Drawing from superb sources in the Cote de Beaune, Drouhin blends wines from a few hand-selected villages to fashion its Cote de Beaune-Villages. A vivid garnet color in the glass, Drouhin’s Cote de Beaune-Villages conveys senses of earthy raspberry and pomegranate fruit, licorice, and that special limestone earthiness that adorns the most honest of red Burgundies. Nuanced and supple on the palate, the Cote de Beaune-Villages’ earthy red fruit kernel mingles with fine, buffered tannins and complex suggestions of wood smoke, game, mint, and vanilla. Long and tangy, the wine finishes with reprises of red fruits, smoky soil and earth. Another fine choice for your holiday table, enjoy this beauty now and over the coming three years with full-bodied savory fare such as gratin dauphinois, duck, roast chicken and pork.

ITALY – RED

2005 Bellaria, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy | 17.99/194.29

Here’s a “baby” Brunello of impressive depth and character. A classic Brunello cherry core gradates to an orange-umber rim followed by aromas of black tea, rose petals, game and dusty earth. Suave and lush on the attack, Bellaria’s 2005 Rosso follows through on the palate with notes of pomegranate, pencil lead, tobacco and menthol. Sneaky Sangiovese tannins segue the wine to a long, soil-inflected finish featuring notes of dried rose petals, bitter oranges and Assam black tea leaves. This lovely Rosso deserves to be treated like a true Brunello, except that it’s delicious now and ready to be enjoyed alongside grilled Porterhouse steaks, braised rabbit, salumi, mushroom pasta dishes and hearty bean stews.

2012 Rainoldi, Rosso di Valtellina, Lombardia, Italy (S) | 13.99/151.09

The Valtellina is located in the far north of Lombardia, Italy’s province just to the east of Piedmont. As in neighboring Piedmont, the Nebbiolo grape is king in Lombardia and the sole constituent of the terrific Rosso from Valtellina’s leading Rainoldi estate. A saturated cherry color in the bowl, Rainoldi’s 2012 Rosso is perfumed with scents of dried rose petals, freshly crushed cherries, orange zest and tarry earth. Bold and juicy on the palate, Rainoldi’s Rosso saturates the palate with deep, fleshy cherry and pomegranate fruit accented by floral top notes and framing Nebbiolo tannins. Stony, minerally, tarry and packed with an exuberant core of red fruit, the Rosso finishes long and lip-smackingly delicious. Haunting notes of dark-roasted coffee/mocha and preserved orange linger on the palate and beckon you to take another bite of beef stew, porcini mushroom risotto and the Valtellina’s classic buckwheat-based Pizzoccheri pasta dish.

2011 Fattoria di Faltognano, Chianti Montalbano Riserva i Comparini, Tuscany, Italy | 13.99/151.09

“Much happiness comes to men who have the fortune to be born where wine is good,” wrote Leonardo da Vinci of his hometown, where generations of the Comparini Bardzky family have lovingly crafted wines since 1000 AD. Faltognano’s i Comparini’s blend of Sangiovese (80%), Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera explodes with a beautiful, translucent black cherry robe and soil-infused aromas of Bing cherries, licorice and crushed herbs. Fleshy and succulent, Faltognano’s i Comparini Reserva juxtaposes plump cherry and currant fruit with plentiful tannins and complex suggestions of mushroomy underbrush, smoky soil and medicinal herbs. Long and distinctive, the wine finishes suave and delicious – a food wine that begs for rustic Tuscan cuisine: grilled beef, hearty bean stews and pastas dressed with porcini mushrooms or a long-simmered ragù. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years.

SPAIN – RED

2006 Bodegas Faustino, Faustino V, Reserva, Rioja, Spain (S) | 19.99/215.89

The beauty of honest, old-school Rioja is on full display in this gorgeous Reserva from Bodegas Faustino. This is the third vintage in a row that we’ve featured, and we feel that this is the most compelling yet! Deep black cherry in color with mature crimson and amber overtones, Faustino 2006 Reserva offers complex, mature aromas of Bing cherries, leather, soy, pipe tobacco, coconut husk and tarry earth. Suave and graceful on the palate, the wine blossoms to reveal suggestions of earthy cherry and currant fruit backed by fine tannins, saddle leather, menthol and vanilla bean. Brisk, electric acidity buoys the wine’s inner core of saturated Tempranillo (90%) and Mazuelo fruit before segueing the wine to a long, cedary, tobacco and leather-tinged finish. Enjoy this Reserva now and over the coming twenty years with hearty meat dishes, potatoes sauteed in olive oil, hearty bean stews, braised duck and firm sheep’s milk cheeses.


WHITE WINES

AUSTRIA – WHITE

2012 Weingut Leth, Gruner Veltliner, Steinagrund, Wagram, Austria (S) | 15.99/172.69

Employing sustainable agriculture and an unbridled passion for Austria’s signature varietal, Franz Leth, Jr. has fashioned a superb, textbook Gruner Veltliner from the Wagram region’s superb 2012 vintage. Deep straw gold in the glass, Leth’s single-vineyard Steinagrund (“stony ground”) Gruner Veltliner opens with flinty aromas of green pears, kiwi fruit, pineapple and snap peas. Brisk, bracing acidity mingles with palate-staining green fruit impressions and leads to a long, smoky, soil-tinged finish highlighted by white pepper notes reminiscent of the great Gruners from the Kamptal. Leth insists that his Gruners are structured to age ten or twenty years. We can’t help but concur, but also can’t imagine not enjoying a few bottles over the short term with grilled vegetables, lentil soups, smoky bean stews and rich braised pork preparations. A superb value in single-vineyard Austrian Gruner Veltliner!

FRANCE – WHITE

2013 Domaine Chiroulet, Cotes de Gascogne, Terres Blanches, IGP, Gascony, France | 11.99/129.49

This is Cotes de Gascogne blanc just as we like it: fresh, focused, tense, mineral and very comfortably priced. Situated on Gascony’s highest slope at nearly 600 feet above sea level, the Domaine Chiroulet sports a special calcareous and white clay soils, known appropriately as the Terres Blanches. These soils impart to Chiroulet’s wines freshness and nerve rare for the region. Brilliant lemon-gold in the glass with beautiful green glints, Chiroulet’s Terres Blanches – a blend of Gros Manseng (50%), Sauvignon Blanc (35%) and Ugni Blanc – whets the palate with delicious bouquet of flinty minerals, white grapefruit, Thai basil and freshly cut grass. In the mouth, the wine shows impressive clarity and focus with lime juice, grapefruit and guava expressions infused with smoky, flinty minerals. Herbal overtones of lemony sorrel and chervil mark the wine unusually long, clean and distinctive finish. Chill this well and enjoy it over the coming year as a refreshing aperitif and with shellfish, light freshwater fish dishes and vegetable frittatas.

2012 Domaine Demeure-Pinet, Jacquere, Vin des Allobroges, IGP, Savoie, France (S) | 9.50/102.60

A perennial medal winner at the prestigious Concours General Agricole de Paris and mainstay in the Guide Hachette, Domaine Demeure-Pinet’s Jacquere is benchmark for the region and a steal for the quality and deliciousness in the bottle. The 2012 Jacquere casts a pale lemon-gold color and suggestions of wet limestone, grapefruit pith and white flowers. Crisp and zesty on the palate, the wine shows impressive flesh for a Jacquere while retaining electric acidity and Alpine refreshment. Clean and crisp, the wine finishes with further waves of chalky limestone minerals, white flowers and citrus pith. Enjoy now and over the coming year as a perfect aperitif or served with freshwater fish preparations, sauteed vegetables, fresh chevres and hors d’oeuvres.

2013 Les Sablonettes, Chenin Blanc Sec, Le P’tit Blanc, Anjou, Loire Valley, France (B) | 15.99/172.69

On the forefront of the natural wine movement, Joel and Christine Menard farm their domaine biodynamically, make their wines exclusively with native yeasts, and ferment them without adding sugar, enzymes or other tricks of modern winemaking. The result of their efforts is one of the most compelling, complex and affordable Chenin Blancs on the market. A limpid straw-gold color leaps from the glass and leads to pure Chenin aromas of beeswax, muskmelon, honeysuckle and schistose minerals. Dry and brisk on the palate, the P’tit Blanc offers suggestions of fresh Anjou pears, quince, freshly cut straw and smoky minerals. Bracing, minerally and totally gripping on the back-palate, the wine transitions from its tactile palate impression to a long, soil-driven finish featuring hints of lemon zest, walnuts and smoky minerals. It’s hard to believe a Chenin of this quality comes all the way to America for this laudable price. Enjoy now or over the next three years with firm goat cheeses, roast chicken, blanquette de veau, pork, quiches and savory tarts.

2012 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Macon-Villages, Clos de la Bressande, Burgundy, France (S) | 13.99/151.09

Third-generation Burgundian vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel 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, Sangouard’s Clos de la Bressande brilliantly expresses its Maconnais origins with aromas of flinty calcareous soil, buttery lemon curd and toasted brioche. Crisp and stony on the palate, the wine suffuses its kernel of lemon and green apple fruit with mineral undercurrents and shimmering acidity. Vinified in stainless steel to preserve precious acidity, the wine finishes long and tangy with echoes of its argile terroir. This is superb, terroir-driven white Burgundy and a terrific value that will wow as a welcome wine this holiday season, and perform as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

2012 Thierry Laffay, Chablis, AOC, Chablis, France | 21.99/237.49

This is “le vrai Chablis” from a sensational Chablis vintage that over-delivers at this modest price tag. The 2012 vintage has Chablis lovers all atwitter with its intense, small-berried fruit and assertive terroir expressions, and this beauty from Thierry Laffay exemplifies these elusive qualities. Laffay’s 2012 Chablis opens with gorgeous pale lemon-gold color and aromatic suggestions of salty sea breeze, flinty minerals and crushed oyster shells. Juicy lemon and white grapefruit mark the wine’s intense palate impression, followed by hints of key lime zest, gunflint and dusty oyster shell minerals on the long, textbook Chablis finish. A tactile saline dusting remains on the lips, tongue and cheek long after the wine leaves the palate. The wine drinks incredibly well now, but has the poise and stuffing for a medium-term evolution in your cool cellar. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years with oysters on the half shell, oven-roasted mussels, scallops, crab, freshwater fish preparations and mild, soft cheeses such as camembert and brie. Another authentic affordable Chablis from Thierry Laffay! Only twelve cases remain of this gem.

2013 Domaine Maurice Schoech, Cotes d’Ammerschwihr, Alsace, France | 18.99/205.09

The Schoech family traces its roots in the vineyards of Ammerschwihr back to 1650. The current domaine was established in 1971 and boasts a superb portfolio of traditional Alsatian wines. This is Schoech’s delicious everyday white blend, fashioned from primarily Pinot Blanc with a dollop of Muscat, all grown on hillside vineyards situated at the beginning of the valley south of Ammerschwihr. A brilliant lime-glinted lemon gold color, Schoech’s Cotes d’Ammerschwihr fuses a base of fleshy, pear and green apple scented Pinot Blanc with exotic Muscat notes of orange zest, muskmelon and linden blossom. Ripping acidity balances the wine’s fleshy fruit expression and lifts the wine’s top notes of mint, kaffir lime leaves and orange blossom honey. Schoech’s Cotes d’Ammerschwihr finishes long, crisp, clean and begging for food. If you’re looking for a versatile wine that will complement all your holiday fare, look no further than this elegant Alsatian beauty from Maurice Schoech. Enjoy now and over the coming three years.

ITALY – WHITE

2013 Feudi di San Gregorio, Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy | 12.50/135.00

Feudi di San Gregorio is unquestionably one of Campania’s finest and best known estates, and the domaine’s consistently superb Falanghina has been a staple of this newsletter for many years. We’re absolutely thrilled with Feudi’s newly released 2013 Falanghina del Sannio. Feudi’s 2013 Falanghina opens with a brilliant lemon-gold color and exotic aromas of cinnamon, fennel, pear blossoms and papaya. On the palate, Feudi’s Falanghina reveals a perfumed soil signature expressed through a core of Meyer lemon, honeydew melon and green pineapple fruit. The wine’s finish is focused, precise and appetizing, showing notes of white peaches, star anise and volcanic terroir. This southern Italian beauty begs to be drunk young and fresh with fried calamari, sushi, clams, mussels, squid, vegetarian fare and seafood pasta dishes sporting lots of extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic.

ROSÉ WINE

FRANCE – ROSE

2013 Chateau Beaulieu, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Rose, Provence, France | 14.99/161.89

The Chateau Beaulieu is situated in the heart of the prestigious Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation. Fashioned entirely from estate-grown fruit, Chateau Beaulieu’s rose, a blend of Grenache (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Syrah, sports a pale salmon hue in the glass followed by scrumptious aromas of cherry blossoms, ruby grapefruit and white pepper. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, Beaulieu’s 2013 rose offers crisp, crunchy suggestions of Rainier cherries, pomegranate and bitter orange peel suffused with chalky minerals. Dry, tensile and bursting with refreshment, the wine finishes with bristling acidity and a saline dusting of minerals. We love rose all year long, and this is an outstanding choice to summon some Provençal sun into your winter evenings. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming year with sushi, sashimi, broiled salmon, roast chicken, seared ahi, braised and smoked pork, cured meats and seasonal squashes.


SPARKLING WINES

FRANCE – SPARKLING

NV Domaines Des Baumard, Carte Turquoise, Cremant de Loire, France | 19.99/215.89

A Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc blend that delivers quality and finesse at Champagne level, at less than half the price.

NV Ampelidae, Armance B., Brut, Loire Valley, France | 14.99/161.89

This a fantastic value sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne method. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Folle Blanche makes for a beautifully floral sparkling wine of considerable finesse and elegance.

NV Bereche & Fils, Brut Reserve, Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne, Champagne, France | 39.99/431.89

An equal blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this low-dosage Champagne with its crisp, lemon, almond and apple fruit will bring stars to your eyes. Very elegant and sophisticated.


SPAIN – SPARKLING

NV Pares Balta, B, Cava Brut, Penedes, Spain | 14.99/161.89

Spicy mineral and citrus peel aromas, with a hint of yellow plum. Fresh and broad on the palate, showing notes of orange, apple, white peach and floral honey.

LINER & ELSEN
2222 NW Quimby St.
Portland, OR 97210
800-903-9463
503-241-9463

Website
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STORE HOURS:
Mon.-Sat. 10am - 6pm

HOLIDAY CLOSURES:

Christmas Eve and New Years Eve: we close at 5:00 p.m.

Closed: Christmas and New Year’s Day

Closed: Jan. 1-4.
Re-open on Monday, Jan. 5


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

DEC. 5 Our semi-annual Champagne Fete, featuring top-of-the-line Champagnes. Bring your party hats!

DEC. 19 Bring on the 2012 Burgundies! A grand tasting of recently-arrived selections from Burgundy.

JAN. 16 Let’s start the new year off in a “Grand” way: A Grand Cru tasting of Chablis!


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

NOV. 29 Oregon Wine Weekend: Why crawl when you can sip? We welcome the great folks from Bethel Heights, Bergstrom, McKinlay, and more!

DEC. 6 From France: Ch. Beaulieu Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé, Dom. Chiroulet Terres Blanches, Les Sablonettes Chenin Blanc, Laffay Chablis, Drouhin Cote de Beaune Village, Dom. Sangouard-Guyot Mâcon-Villages Clos de la Bressande, Dom. Maurice Schoech, and Dom. Labranche Laffont Madiran.

DEC. 13 From Italy: Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina, Rainoldi Rosso di Valtellina, Bellaria Rosso di Montalcino, and Faltognano Chianti Montalbano Riserva. Plus: Our Côtes du Rhône Valley Sampler.

DEC. 20 Our featured sparkling wines. Plus: Petroio Chianti tasting with Diana Lenzi.

DEC. 27 Great wines from here and there: Lundeen Estate Pinot Noir Mon Père, Dom. Demeure-Pinet Jacquère, JM Raffault Chinon Les Galuches, Dom. de la Mavette Vaucluse, Weingut Leth Grüner Veltliner Steinagrund, Faustino V Reserva Rioja, and Preisinger Basic.


SPECIAL EVENTS AT L&E:

BORDEAUX WINE TASTING
with Katrina Uhl from Wine Trust Distributors

Tuesday, Dec. 9 6:15 p.m.

Please join us for an informal tasting of superb Bordeaux with the folks from Wine Trust. We will taste from their extensive Bordeaux portfolio, drawn from the 2000 vintage through 2010. The complete list of wines will be available on our website. No reservations needed. Tasting fee: $20.


FATTORIA DI PETROIO
Wine Tasting with Diana Lenzi

Saturday, Dec. 20, 12-4:00 p.m.

We're pleased to host our annual Petroio Chianti Classico tasting, joined by Petroio's Diana Lenzi. It’s not the holidays without a tasting of our favorite Chiantis!
No fee.

 


HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL
FROM THE STAFF AT
LINER & ELSEN!


Please note our holiday closures, listed above. We are closed Jan. 1-4; re-open on Monday, Jan. 1


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.