SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

RED WINES

OREGON – RED

2012 Arterberry Maresh, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon (O) 22.99/248.39

Third-generation winegrower Jim Maresh is fashioning some of the Willamette Valley’s most sought-after wines. This is the winery’s entry-level cuvee, a blend of superb fruit from six of the finest vineyards in the Dundee Hills AVA. Sporting a transparent pale garnet color in the glass, Arterberry Maresh’s 2012 Dundee Hills Pinot casts savory Pommard-like aromas of wild strawberry and rhubarb backed with hints of underbrush, ferrous soil, cinnamon, smoke and mustard seed. Velvety, sappy and – frankly – Burgundian on the palate, the wine marries sweet currant and raspberry fruit with crunchy rhubarb notes and hints of sous bois, perfumed earth and potpourri. Long and lively on the palate, the crisp acidic backbone and lip-smacking tannins keep this wine in wondrous harmony. This is Oregon Pinot for lovers of Cote de Beaune red Burgundies. An especially elegant example of Oregon’s 2012 vintage and a steal at its tariff, this is one to buy by the case for enjoyment now and over the coming seven years with broiled salmon, roast chicken and grilled Portobello mushrooms.

2013 McKinlay Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (O) 15.99/172.69

McKinlay winemaker Matt Kinne’s Pinots are always so elegant, so effortlessly balanced, so sneakily Burgundian. Emphasizing organic viticulture, low yields, native yeast fermentation and minimal intervention, McKinlay’s just released 2013 Willamette Valley is a deeply aromatic and deliciously spicy Pinot at an extremely affordable price. The wine opens with a transparent pale ruby hue and beautifully pure Willamette Valley Pinot aromas of black cherries, red currants, earth, rosewater and cinnamon. Bright and satiny on the palate, McKinlay’s 2013 Pinot shows deep red raspberry and pie cherry fruit complicated by juicy, balancing acidity, savory tannins and top notes of sweet potpourri. The wine finishes long, clean and lingering, reprising notes of sweet cherries, red raspberries, and smoky terroir. Bright and precocious, the wine drinks exceptionally well now, but its deft balance bodes well for three to five years’ positive evolution in your cool cellar. Enjoy this pure, authentic, soil-driven and affordable Willamette Valley Pinot with broiled salmon, roast chicken, grilled vegetables, duck and burgers hot off the grill.

FRANCE – RED

2010 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France (O) 28.99/313.09 reg. 33.99

To love Burgundy, one must learn to appreciate its fascinating and sometimes frustrating classifications. In the case of the Cote de Beaune from Joseph Drouhin, the wine emerges from high-altitude vineyards on the hill overlooking the city of Beaune blended with wines from five premiers crus, including Drouhin’s flagship Clos des Mouches. A gorgeous garnet color, the Drouhin 2010 Cote de Beaune casts deep, soil-inflected, unmistakably Burgundian aromas of cranberries, sour cherries, game, spice, smoke and earth. Bright and zippy with 2010’s classic acid backbone, the wine fleshes out on the palate to reveal a meaty, game-inflected kernel of loganberries, black cherries and earth. The velvety palate tightens mid-palate and segues the wine to its long dark clay and limestone-inflected finish, reprising cherry fruit, game, smoke, vibrant acidity and spicy tannins. We love the 2010 Burgundy vintage and encourage you to grab a stash of this beauty for enjoyment now and over the coming twelve years with roast quail, squab, duck, chicken, pork, morel mushrooms and potatoes au gratin. Limited.

2010 Domaine Bressy-Masson, Rasteau, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Southern Rhone Valley, France (O) 16.99/183.49

2010 was the vintage that elevated Rasteau – the most hallowed of the Cotes du Rhone Villages – to full appellation controlee status. Rasteau is revered for its full-flavored, Gigondas-like reds, and Bressy-Masson again delivers with this gorgeous Southern Rhone value. A translucent black-plum color, Bressy-Masson’s 2010 Rasteau opens with deeply pitched aromas of black cherry and blackberry fruit accented by overtones of violets, cinnamon, black pepper, licorice and garrigue. On the palate, sappy old-vine cherry and blackberry fruit meets persistent undercurrents of stony terroir and savory dried herbs. Rich, bold, chewy and utterly delicious, Bressy-Masson’s Rasteau truly does perform more like a fine Gigondas than a humble Cotes du Rhone Villages. A classic blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah raised traditionally in concrete, Bressy-Masson’s 2010 Rasteau is wonderful today for its bold fruit and rustic charm, but has the stuffing and the balance to evolve gracefully for five to seven years in your cool cellar. Pair with grilled lamb, eggplant, burgers and rich poultry.

2010 Chateau la Coustarelle, Cahors, Southwest France 12.50/135.00

Perhaps the pinnacle of the southwestern French red wine hierarchy is the hallowed Cahors appellation. Historically considered a rival to the wines of Bordeaux, Cahors was devastated by the phylloxera epidemic in the mid- to late-1800s that ravaged the vast majority of French vineyards. Cahors didn’t recover quite as quickly as Bordeaux, but now its wines are being again recognized for their distinctiveness, versatility and impressive ability to age. Chateau la Coustarelle’s Cahors, a classic blend of 80% Malbec (Cot) and 20% Merlot, casts an opaque plum-ruby robe from the glass. Powerful aromas of elderberry, cassis, herbs and white mushrooms lead to a gripping mouthful of lush blackberry and cassis fruit complicated by limestone soil, baker’s chocolate, cedar, underbrush and plentiful fine tannins. Packed with a chewy core of plum and currant fruit, Chateau la Coustarelle’s Cahors is fashioned for immediate drinkability and short-term ageing. Enjoy now and over the next five years with roast goose, grilled ribeye steaks, braised short ribs, rich eggplant casseroles and casseroles featuring long-cooked beans.

ITALY – RED

2010 Saladini Pilastri, Rosso Piceno Superiore, Montetinello, Marche, Italy (CO) 12.50/135.00

Bold, gutsy red wines from the rolling hills of central Italy are superb complements to summertime and fall grilling and barbecuing. When the grill is lit, Saladini Pilastri’s Rosso Piceno Superiore is the perfect call. A brilliant, translucent plum color in the glass, the 2010 Rosso Piceno is a stylish, organically-grown blend of 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese aged in cask to add roundness, polish, and refinement to the usually burly Rosso Piceno profile. Aromas of Morello cherries, button mushrooms, camphor and leather yield to a robust yet refined palate redolent of wild cherries, blond tobacco and smoky minerals. Bright and spicy in the mouth, the wine’s pure kernel of cherry fruit mingles with plentiful fine tannins before transitioning to a complex lip-smacking finish suggesting cured meats, fine leather and dusty limestone. A tremendous value and a great choice to pair with grilled steaks, lamb, eggplant and Portobello mushrooms. Delicious now, it promises to gain additional complexity and nuance with three to five years in your cool cellar.

2011 San Felice, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 13.99/151.09

The great San Felice estate is situated in Castelnuovo Berardenga, the southernmost commune of Chianti Classico and considered by many experts to be the greatest of all the Chianti subzones. The finest Chiantis from Castelnuovo Berardenga zone possess that elusive balance of power, intensity, elegance and the ability to repay ageing. San Felice’s delicious 2011 Chianti Classico – a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and 10% Pugnitello – epitomizes all those traits while being approachable and delicious upon release. A beautiful orange-tinged cherry color in the glass, San Felice’s 2011 Chianti Classico casts aromas of black cherries, Assam tea, dark leather and dried rose petals. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the wine balances its core of tart cherry and red currant fruit with fine, framing tannins and complex notes of cedar, button mushrooms, untanned leather, smoke and medicinal herbs. Plentiful buffered Sangiovese tannins segue the wine to its long tobacco-tinged finish, which will prove to be a wonderful foil for pastas, pizzas, grilled steaks, burgers, eggplant preparations and mushroom ragoûts. Enjoy now and over the coming five years.

2011 Fiorenzo Nada, Langhe, Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy (S) 15.99/172.69

Fiorenzo Nada is one of the leading lights in the Barbaresco commune of Treiso. With holdings in the prestigious Rombone and Manzola crus, Nada fashions a complete portfolio of exemplary Langhe wines. This is Nada’s Langhe Nebbiolo, essentially a declassified Barbaresco from young vines in the Rombone cru, crafted to be approachable at an early age. Casting a beautiful transparent garnet robe, Nada’s Langhe Nebbiolo opens with deep aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, herbs and earth. Soft on the attack with a precocious cherry fruit expression, Nada’s Langhe Nebbiolo tightens mid-palate to reveal plentiful, fine Nebbiolo tannins, juicy acidity and hints of game, menthol, smoke and calcareous earth. Long, bright and appetizing, this wine is made to be matched with food – especially hearty casseroles, earthy mushrooms, rich risottos, grilled meats and egg-rich pastas. Buy a case of this baby Barbaresco to enjoy now and over the coming ten years. Fantastic value!
– Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media: 91 points

2012 Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Superiore, Marches, Italy 17.99/194.29

Verdicchio, central Italy’s most distinctive and important white varietal, reaches its greatest expression in the mineral-rich soils of the Marches’ Castelli di Jesi zone just a few miles from the Adriatic Sea. Bucci’s Verdicchio, grown in the denominazione’s tenderloin Classico Superiore subzone, casts a medium gold color from the glass followed by explosive aromas of white flowers, honeydew melon, golden delicious apples and Mirabelle plums. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, the wine’s fleshy fruit expression is complemented by a saline tactile grip and impressions of clover honey, quinine, smoky minerals and bitter herbs. Long and lingering on the palate, the wine segues to an impressively complex finish suggesting lime juice, jasmine blossoms, malted barley, sweet shell peas and genmaicha tea. This is a delicious and unusually full-bodied Verdicchio; it should be paired now and over the coming four years with hearty fare that calls for a bold white wine. Think swordfish, fresh albacore tuna, rabbit, duck, zucchini casseroles, potato dishes, white pizzas, pastas in cream sauces, and similarly robust cuisine.

SPAIN – RED

2012 Adega Cruceiro, Cruceiro, Amandi, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain 14.99/161.89

Grown on steep terraced slate and granite slopes in far northern Spain, the Ribeira Sacra boasts a winemaking history that goes back to Roman times. Ribeira Sacra (Sacred Shore) is the only Galician province that focuses on red wines. Adega Cruceiro’s flagship Cruceiro bottling, a blend of indigenous Mencía, Albarello and Caino grapes, shows the charm, character and smoky soil signature of this cool sector of Spain, and the reason why Ribeira Sacra’s terraces yield some of Spain’s finest red wines. A translucent ruby color, the Cruceiro casts smoky, slate-inflected aromas of black cherries, licorice and violets. Silky in the mouth, the wine balances fleshy cherry and raspberry fruit with savory tannins and vivifying acidity. Long, smoky, meaty and totally delicious, the Cruceiro finishes with added suggestions of cracked pepper, anise and persistent waves of smoky cherry fruit. This is the “discovery” wine of the newsletter, and one that will make a lovely partner over the coming three years for paellas, tapas, grilled mushrooms and meats, and braised rabbit.


WHITE WINES

OREGON – WHITE

2011 Belle Pente, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 14.99/161.89

Belle Pente’s Brian O’Donnell is one of the Willamette Valley’s most gifted and conscientious winemakers. O’Donnell’s trademark is his ability to balance elegance and power while honoring the distinctive natures of his vineyards’ terroirs. An unabashed Alsatian wine enthusiast, O’Donnell looks to the homeland of Pinot Gris for inspiration for his own interpretations of Oregon’s signature white grape. Belle Pente’s 2011 Pinot Gris opens with a bold, deep lemon gold color and a rich, opulent nose of wild honey, gardenia blossoms and a complex touch of smoky botrytis – a dead ringer for a top-notch example from Alsace. Ample and full bodied, Belle Pente’s Pinot Gris coats the palate with lovely honeydew melon, yellow peach, mango and ripe apricot fruit cut by spine tingling, razor sharp acidity. Long, lingering and complex, the wine finishes with reprises of dried stone fruits, honeysuckle, pineapple and smoke. This is a world-class Pinot Gris in the classical Alsatian style that will thrill you for late summer, fall and holiday season gatherings. Pair over the next two years with hearty fish dishes, roast poultry, gratin dauphinois, assertive cheeses, roast pork loin. We recommend serving this at cool cellar temperature or only slightly chilled to allow the wine’s rich texture and impressive complexity to fully reveal themselves.

FRANCE – WHITE

2011 Vins Auvigue, Macon-Davaye, Le Moulin du Pont, Burgundy, France 12.99/140.29

This Macon-Davaye rises far above the average Macon with its fruit intensity, richness and lemony acidity. Davaye is one of the many small villages entitled to hyphenate the name of the village to the greater Macon designation, or to label its wines under the greater and more familiar moniker, Macon-Villages. 2011 was warm, rich, inviting vintage that created precocious, immediately appealing wines. Opening with a medium straw-gold color, Vins Auvigue’s Macon Davaye conveys bright aromas of pears, white peaches and yellow plums. Hints of quince, lemon juice and a smoky mineral undercurrent provide additional complexity on the wine’s long finish. As the wine lingers, echos of honeyed melon and a dusting of salty minerals complete this classy, top-caliber Macon. Dedicated fans of affordable white Burgundy will delight in this wine, which we suggest serving now or over the next five years with salmon, roast chicken, light pork preparations and halibut.

2013 Eugene Carrel et Fils, Vin de Savoie-Jongieux, Savoie, France 11.50/124.20

Eugene Carrel’s newly released 2013 Jongieux opens with a brilliant pale lemon-gold color and refreshing scents of lime zest, green pears, chamomile and juniper. Clean, fresh and bristling with crisp, juicy citrus fruit, Carrel’s Jongieux offers thrillingly pure suggestions of lemon, grapefruit, fresh pineapple and crushed limestone. On the finish, the wine adds reprises of citrus and green pineapple fruit while leaving a wonderful and savory tactile dusting of saline minerals on the lips and inner cheeks. This is sensational Jongiuex – perhaps Carrel’s finest yet – which, at a delightfully low 11.5% alcohol, is versatile enough for weekend brunches, light mid-week dinners and as an after-work refreshment. Enjoy now and over the next year with poached fish preparations, green vegetables and any time the call is for a light, refreshing, mineral-driven white wine.

2013 Domaine de la Pepiere, Muscadet, Sevre et Maine sur Lie, Loire Valley, France (O) 13.50/145.80

2013 is showing itself as a splendid, classically-chiseled Muscadet vintage. Domaine de la Pepiere’s newly-released example is a smashing wine that places soil transparency and oyster shell minerality to the fore. Winemaker Marc Ollivier crafts some of the finest expressions of authentic, naturally made, soil-driven Muscadets. Ollivier uses only natural yeasts, harvests by hand, bottles without filtration and uses heirloom cuttings of the Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) grape. A limpid green-inflected pale straw gold in the glass, Pepiere’s Muscadet casts a soaring bouquet of crushed stones, oyster shells, green melon and crunchy gooseberries. The wine’s palate is chock full of tart, crisp expressions of gooseberry, white grapefruit, lemon and lime backed by bracing acidity and saline oyster shell minerality. The wine finishes clean, long and ineffably mineral, which ensures that it’s a natural pair with fresh oysters, pan-roasted shellfish dishes, baked halibut, clams, mussels and the myriad of seafood stews. Enjoy now and over the coming four years.

2013 Domaine Adele Rouze, Quincy, Loire Valley, France (S) 17.99/194.29

Old vines, gentle handling and minimal intervention impart Adele Rouze’s 2013 Quincy with delicacy and refinement. A brilliant lime-glinted gold color, the 2013 Quincy casts high-toned grassy, herb-driven aromas of lemon zest, white grapefruit, chives and Thai basil. Lovers of old-school Sancerres will delight in the Rouze’s zesty fresh lemon and grapefruit expressions infused with waves of flinty minerality. Shimmering and juicy on the palate, Rouze’s Quincy finishes as delicious as it started, with riveting acidity and lashings of limestone minerals that propel the wine’s pure core of citrus fruit. This is world-class Sauvignon Blanc and a steal for its tariff. Enjoy this wonder now and over the coming three years with all bivalves, freshwater fishes, sauteed green vegetables and light poultry recipes. Adele Rouze blows us away yet again!

GERMANY – WHITE

2013 A. Diehl, Weisser Burgunder, Trocken, Pfalz, Germany (1 liter bottle) 15.99/172.69

Diehl’s newly-released 2013 Weisser Burgunder hits it out of the park! The Pfalz, as one of Germany’s warmest growing regions, is one of the country’s most successful regions for forays into realms Burgundian and Alsatian. Here we have Weisser Burgunder, a.k.a. Pinot Blanc, transformed into a effortlessly crisp, food-friendly style. Smoky Pfalz soil serves as a lovely undercurrent for Diehl’s crisp pear- and green melon-scented Weisser Burgunder. Fresh, vivacious and simply delicious, this is a Pinot Blanc that dares to be humble, delicious, refreshing and affordable. Enjoy this beautiful country wine as an aperitif for your late summer gatherings, or as a foil for grilled halibut, vegetable risottos, trout amandine, grilled marinated chicken… just about anything but red meat.

2013 Maximin Grunhauser, Riesling, Feinherb, Mosel (Ruwer), German (S) 18.99/205.09

Under the guidance of Stefan Kraml, the venerable Maximin Grunhaus estate is again making the reference-setting Rieslings for which the estate is historically renowned. Emphasizing natural viticulture and winemaking, Kraml is crafting soil-driven, critically acclaimed Rieslings across the sweetness spectrum, from fully dry to honeyed sweet. This is Kraml’s rare Feinherb, an off-dry Riesling. Pale green-gold in the glass, the wine offers scents of wild yeast, bee pollen, lime blossom, grapefruit pith and smoky slate minerals. Crisp on the attack, the Feinherb fleshes out mid-palate to reveal fresh suggestions of green apples, white currants, kaffir lime leaves, hops, clover honey and nectarine. The wine’s long, clean and elegant finish spotlights the Feinherb’s racy acidity and dissolved slate minerality. This wine will delight serious Mosel, Saar & Ruwer wine lovers, and will prove dry enough to impress even the most ardent Riesling agnostics. Serve with everything from fish preparations to sauteed squashes, lightly-dressed green salads, poultry and pork. It will also work well with mild to semi-assertive cheeses. Terrific wine!



ROSÉ WINE

WASHINGTON – ROSÉ

2013 Tranche Cellars, Pink Pape Rose, Blackrock Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington 15.99/172.69

With their Tranche Cellars label, Michael and Lauri Corliss explore the red, white and rose wines of the Southern Rhone Valley as expressed in their eastern Yakima Valley Blackrock vineyard. A blend of Counoise, Cinsault and Grenache, Tranche’s Pink Pape conveys a pale salmon hue and aromas of strawberries, blood oranges and golden raspberries. Brisk, bracingly dry and quite serious, the Pink Pape tastes of fresh red berries and watermelon infused with dusty saline minerals and lifted by electric acidity. Refreshing and bone dry, this is a most serious rose for those who love classic Southern French roses and relish in the genre’s ability to slake the thirst while being effortlessly versatile at the table. Enjoy this Yakima beauty now and over the coming year with grilled salmon, ahi, seasonal vegetable medleys, paellas and the entire poultry and game bird spectrum.

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:
Labor Day, Mon. Sept. 1


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

SEPT. 5
The New Portugal:
It ain’t just Port any more!

SEPT. 19
A tasting of Burgundies from Pommard

OCT. 3
Piedmont wines from Barbaresco and Barolo


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

SEPT. 6
From France: Dom. de la Pépière Muscadet, Dom. Adèle Rouzé Quincy, Vins Auvigue Mâcon-Davayé Le Moulin du Pont, Bressy-Masson Rasteau Côtes du Rhone Villages, and Ch. la Coustarelle Cahors.

SEPT. 13
Italian beauties from Zancanella Imports: Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico, Fiorenzo Nada Langhe Nebbiolo, Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno Superiore, plus Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore.

SEPT. 20
Great wines from Europe: Eugène Carrel Jongieux Vin de Savoie, A. Diehl Weisser Burgunder Trocken, Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Feinherb, Adega Cruceiro Amandi Ribeira Sacra, and Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune.

SEPT. 27
We welcome autumn with these excellent NW wines: Tranche Cellars Pink Pape Rosé, Belle Pente Pinot Gris, Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir, and McKinlay Vineyards Pinot Noir.


We are closed for Labor Day, Mon. Sept. 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.