FEBRUARY 2016 NEWSLETTER

 


RED WINES

OREGON - RED

2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
17.99/194.29 reg. 23.99

2013 in the Willamette Valley was a winemaker’s vintage, and few winemakers in Oregon rise to Mother Nature’s challenges like Marcus Goodfellow. Goodfellow’s 2013 Pinot presents a seductively subdued bouquet of tart cranberries, untanned leather, button mushrooms loamy earth. Crisp and crunchy on the palate, the wine shows gorgeous sour cherry fruit paired with a suave texture and complex notes of menthol, smoke and bitter orange peel. Savory, briskly acidic and appetizingly tart, this lovely red-fruited Pinot demands food and rewards with impressive versatility. Drink now and over the next five years, paired with broiled salmon, roast chicken, gratin dauphinois, and sauteed mushrooms.

2014 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 17.99/194.29

How can anyone fashion such a delicious and complex Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for under 20.00? The answer: John Paul at Cameron Winery can, and did! Cameron's stellar 2014 is a great example of what can come from the considerably ripe and precocious 2014 vintage. We are wide-eyed at the complexity of this humbly priced offering, which is comprised mostly of fruit from the prestigious organic Abbey Ridge vineyard. Dark garnet-purple in the glass, the nose offers Dundee Hills red clay characteristics of minerals, baking spices and dusty cocoa. Aromas of black cherries, white flowers, violets, lavender, pepper and anise seed are joined on the palate by notes of huckleberry, red currant, white pepper, Damson plum, and chocolate. The finish is long, savory and complex, making it an ideal partner for heartier bistro cuisine. Pair over the next six or eight years with duck, pork, ribs, BBQ brisket, ripe cow's milk cheeses, and roasted beets and veggies. Load up on this great wine and drink over the next three to five years, whenever you need a high-quality Oregon Pinot with pedigree but don't want to break the bank.

FRANCE – RED

2011 Vidal-Fleury, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley, France 10.99/118.69 reg. 12.99

Maison Vidal-Fleury’s 2011 Cotes du Rhone rouge opens with a black plum color and herbal, garrigue-inflected aromas of plums, black cherries and cured meats. Deep, meaty and authentic, this old-school Cotes du Rhone combines the spicy, plummy Grenache with earthy, peppery Syrah and firm, tannic, leathery Mourvedre to create a fusion with both early appeal and the ability to age for a decade. Velvety on the entry, the wine tightens mid-palate and frames its black cherry-scented core with notes of leather, game and herbal suggestions of bay leaf and sage. Vidal-Fleury’s 2011 CdR finishes long, herbal and appetizingly tannic with impressive depth, elegance and complexity. Enjoy this affordable wonder now with a heavily garlic-studded roast leg of lamb or let it age five to seven years and enjoy it with less assertive lamb preparations. It will also complement burgers, grilled vegetables, chicken and casseroles. Only twenty cases available.

2013 Albert Bichot, Savigny-les-Beaune, Burgundy, France 19.99/215.89

Maison Albert Bichot delivers classic, delicately textured, terroir-driven red and white Burgundies. In the glass, Bichot’s superb 2013 village Savigny reflects a bright ruby robe followed by deep aromas of black cherries, cinnamon and pungent Savigny earth. Layered and vibrant on the palate, Bichot’s Savigny offers mushroomy notes and black fruits with impressive texture and perfume. Savory tannins and hints of mustard seed and bay leaf carry the wine to its long, delicious finish, which reprises black cherry notes amid a base of dark limestone soil. This is impressive, earthy, soil-driven red Burgundy, and a fantastic sub-$20 Burgundy value that genuinely delivers the soil signature that makes Savigny so special. Enjoy over the next five to seven years with roast poultry, pan-seared quail, grilled salmon and hearty potato preparations.

NV (2014) Jean-Philippe Padie, Petit Taureau, Vin de France, Roussillon, France (B) 16.99/183.49

Jean-Philippe Padie’s Petit Taureau conveys the heady perfume of a fine Chateauneuf du Pape with the weight and texture of a Burgundy. Brisk, lively, mouth-filling yet light on its feet, Padie’s Petit Taureau is a blend of Syrah and Carignan produced from biodynamic vineyards. A lovely ruby hue in the glass, the Petit Taureau opens with floral notes of violets and cherry blossoms before gracing the palate with a tangy core of cherry and red currant fruit. Fresh and lively in the mouth, notes of sweet orange, thyme and leather merge with the wine’s core of red fruits before segueing to a long, savory finish. Natural wine lovers will take special note, but this is a wine for everyone and a lovely antidote to winter weather. Pair with poultry, pork, stews, ratatouille, and tangy ewe’s milk cheeses.

2014 Domaine des Champs Fleuris, Saumur-Champigny, Les Tufolies,
Loire Valley, France 13.50/145.80

Les Tufolies from Champs Fleuris delivers an immediately delicious mouthful of soul-satisfying Cabernet Franc laced with the Saumur’s inimitable yellow limestone (tuffeau) soil signature. The wine offers pure, inviting aromas of cedar, violets, dusty soil, tobacco and capsicum followed by a generous palate of black raspberry, black cherry and cassis fruit. Smoky, leathery and eminently gulpable, the Tufolies is the classic Parisian bistro wine designed for immediate pleasure while retaining all the character of the terroir of the Loire Valley’s Saumur sector. This is a quality-to-price winner for year-round enjoyment. Pair in cool weather with roast chicken or hearty mushroom dishes, or give it a light chill in the warmer months and serve it with grilled zucchini, BBQ chicken, ribs and fresh chevres.

2013 Jean-Francois Garlon, Beaujolais, Cuvee Reserve, France (S) 12.99/140.29

Tradition-minded vigneron Jean François Garlon fashions delicious, soil transparent Beaujolais of elegance, structure and age-ability. Garlon’s 2013 Cuvee Reserve casts a limpid transparent red ruby robe and pure Beaujolais aromas of fresh cherries, strawberries, black pepper and dried herbs. Herbal, moderately tannic and appetizingly savory on the palate, Garlon’s Beaujolais backs up its structure with a bright core of red cherry, raspberry and blood orange fruit and complex notes of violets, mustard seed, game and smoky minerals. Long, tangy and appetizing, the wine finishes with buoying acidity, dusty tannins and dried herbs. Enjoy this Beaujolais of depth, character and value now and over the next five years with broiled salmon, roast chicken, pork chops, grilled burgers, boeuf bourguignon, and rich mushroom dishes.

2011 Jerome Calmes Minervois, Les Vialas, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 13.50/145.80

In the hinterlands of the Languedoc lies the ancient village of Minervois and its fabled rugged terrain, whose rocky soils produce wines renowned for the excellence, distinctiveness and good value. From Les Vialas, one of Minervois’ most prestigious crus, Jerome Calmes has fashioned a textbook expression of the region’s rustic, hearty and delicious rouges. Opaque black-plum in the glass, Calmes’ Les Vialas casts aromas of garrigue-scented blackberry and black plum fruit, smoke, cured meats and leather. Bright and firmly tannic on the palate, the wine brims with smoky black cherry and cassis fruit, complemented by herbal notes of wild sage, juniper, tar and bayleaf. Appetizingly structured yet easily approachable, the wine finishes savory, gamy and ready for pairing now and over the next seven years with grilled rack of lamb, burgers, garlicky ratatouille and grilled sausages. This is a terrific value for a first-rate Minervois. Limited.

ITALY – RED

2011 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna, Riserva, Sardinia, Italy 13.99/151.09

In Sardinia, Cannonau (Grenache) achieves a unique expression that stays true to the grape, yet conveys a special cinnamon-tinged earthiness unique to the island. Sella & Mosca’s 2011 Riserva opens with a beautiful, translucent garnet robe followed by a delicious bouquet of pie cherries, leather, tobacco and underbrush. Graceful in weight yet bold in flavor on the palate, the Riserva adds suggestions of cinnamon, tart red plums and smoky minerals alongside earthy, sotto bosco notes. The wine finishes long and soil-driven, showing plentiful savory tannins, snappy acidity and delicious notes of cloves, leather, porcini mushrooms and blond tobacco. Fans of bold, earthy red wines will find this a delight and a comfortable value. Enjoy now and over the coming eight years with dishes featuring tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, lamb and game.

2011 Italo Pietrantonj, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Etichetta Nera, Abruzzo, Italy 13.99/151.09

Brimming with sun-warmed central Italian charm, this is truly one of the most satisfying Montepulcianos in memory. In the 2011 bottling, the venerable Italo Pietrantonj estate captures the robustness of the Montepulciano grape tamed by three years’ leisurely ageing in large neutral oak botti and bottle. Casting an opaque plum-ruby robe, Pietrantonj’s Montepulciano presents aromas of tart plums, ripe cherries, dried rose petals, black pepper and herbs. Ripe and vibrant on the palate, the wine bursts with menthol and leather-scented cherry fruit, backed by suggestions of mushrooms, anise and sweet tobacco. The finish is luscious and long with further waves of plum and cherry fruit complicated by notes of leather, herbs and tobacco. We suggest buying this for immediate enjoyment and up to five years aging. Pair with rustic pasta dishes, stews, game, and rich mushroomy fare.

2012 Falchini, Titolato Colombaia, Chianti Colli Senesi, Tuscany, Italy 11.50/124.20

From Chianti’s Colli Senesi zone, named for the hills around Siena, the venerable Falchini estate fashions this classic Chianti cuvee with 85% Sangiovese blended with Canaiolo and other indigenous red grapes. The 2012 Titolato Colombaia opens with a deep ruby robe and tangy aromas of red cherries, leather, bay leaf and smoke. Chewy cherry and bright red currant fruit fuse on the palate alongside plentiful fine tannins and appetizing hints of tobacco, leather, dried herbs and underbrush. Compelling suggestions of camphor, dusty soil and walnut skin finish the wine and make it a terrific choice to pair with everyday fare like bucatini all’amatriciana, grilled zucchini, burgers and pizza. We love the Titolato’s combination of deliciousness, versatility and value, and we encourage you to pick up a case of this most affordable beauty for everyday enjoyment over the coming three years.
Vinous: 88 points

2013 Caprili, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 18.99/205.09

Caprili’s exceptionally expressive 2013 Rosso opens with an opaque ruby color and a dazzling bouquet of leather, sweet tobacco, button mushrooms and fruitwood smoke. Tangy black cherry fruit coats the palate before the wine shifts gears to reveal waves of soft, fine tannins and classic Brunello notes of earth, licorice, saddle leather and dusty terroir. The wine’s chewy, savory tannins combine with food-inviting acidity to carry the wine from its mid-palate through its finish, where further notes of dusty black cherries, plums, game, leather and minerally earth complete the wine. Like its predecessors, many of which have graced these pages, Caprili’s 2013 Rosso is a genuine expression of authentic, food-friendly Sangiovese Grosso (a.k.a. Brunello), and we can’t think of a better, more affordable complement to classic Tuscan fare. Caprili’s Rosso will also complement roast of beef, grilled lamb, eggplant, stews and rustic vegetarian casseroles. Drink now and over the coming ten years.

SPAIN – RED

2014 Alvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat, Priorat, Spain (B) 18.99/205.09

Alvaro Palacios’ Camins del Priorat is a gorgeous, affordable example of top notch Priorat. Opaque black plum in the glass, Palacios’s Camins – a blend of predominantly Cariñena and Garnacha with dollops of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah – explodes with rich aromas of licorice, blueberries and star anise. Supple and satiny on the attack, the wine offers a gorgeous, ripe melange of deep blueberry, plum and blackcurrant fruit accented by notes of licorice, brown spices and violets. Fine, lip-dusting tannins emerge on the wine’s back-palate and segue it to a long, saturated, licorice-tinged finish. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with grilled strip steaks, pan-seared pork chops, meaty tapas, and pastas featuring oil cured black olives.
- Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 92 points


WHITE WINES

AUSTRIA – WHITE

2014 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg, Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria (S)
16.99/183.49

In 2014 Gruner Veltliner outshone all other Austrian varietals. Schloss Gobelsburg’s entry-level Gruner is the epitome of classic, fresh, table-ready Kamptal Gruner. Glimmering lemon-gold with green glints, Gobelsburg’s 2014 Gruner casts aromas of lentils, white pepper and honeydew melon. Crisp, cracking and supremely refreshing, the wine bristles on the palate with bracing lemon, pear and passion fruit accented by notes of earthy lentils, coriander, freshly shaved fennel, and lip-dusting saline minerals. The wine’s refreshment quotient continues to rise at it finishes zesty, nervy and mineral-driven. This is classic, affordable, and deliciously vibrant Kamptal Gruner Veltliner that will provide lovely drinking now and over the coming two years with sauteed green vegetables, grilled zucchini, braised pork and roast chicken.

FRANCE – WHITE

2013 Domaine Gonon, Macon-Bussieres, Chardonnay, Burgundy, France (S) 13.50/145.80

This is terrific Macon, and one that brings to mind far pricier white Burgundies from the Cote de Beaune. Jean-François Gonon crafts this deliciously smoky and compelling Macon from vines planted on the finest slopes at the foot of the famous Solutre Cliffs in the village of Bussieres. Brilliant gold in the glass, Gonon’s Bussieres opens with Puligny-like aromas of acacia blossoms, green pear and smoky minerals. Brisk and soil-driven on the palate, the wine fleshes out mid-palate to reveal notes of raw cashews, lemon curd and limestone minerals. As Gonon’s Bussieres warms, it gains weight, texture and complexity, finally finishing with a latent, satisfying buttery richness. Enjoy the 2013 Gonon now and over the coming five years, served at cool cellar temperature with sauteed mushrooms, salmon, pork, roast chicken, duck, boudin blanc, and light pork dishes.

2014 Chateau d’Orschwihr, Pinot Gris, Bollenberg, Alsace, France (S) 15.99/172.69 reg. 19.99

The predominately limestone soils on the famous hill of Bollenberg yield some of Alsace’s most compelling expressions of the Pinot Gris grape. Chateau d’Orschwihr’s Bollenberg Pinot Gris takes no prisoners with its deep copper-tinted gold color and exotic nose of dried apricots, Mirabelle plums and muskmelon. Full and ample on the palate, the wine offers impressions of dried apricot, poached pears, orange marmalade and smoky minerals. Long and lingering on the finish, Chateau d’Orschwihr’s Bollenberg Pinot Gris’ massive palate presence finishes cool, clean and fresh. Pair now and over the coming seven years with broiled salmon, rich lentil stews, roast duck and washed rind cheeses. A superb example of full-throttle Pinot Gris that only finest terroirs of Alsace can produce.

2014 Domaine Leon Boesch, Sylvaner, Les Pierres Rouges, Alsace, France (B) 13.99/151.09

The family Boesch are eleventh generation Alsatian vignerons who adhere to the mystical principles of biodynamics to grow and vinify an exemplary range of traditional Alsatian varietal wines. Here the Boesch family gives the lovely Sylvaner grape it rightful place as one of the most delicious and refreshing varieties in the Alsatian portfolio. A bright lemon-gold in the glass, Boesch’s Sylvaner casts smoky aromas of green apple skin, lime zest and white meadow flowers. Fleshy on the palate, the wine joins pineapple and pear fruit with smoky minerals and herbal impressions. Long, lingering and exotic, this is a full-bodied Alsatian Sylvaner that unleashes a generous palate of fruit yet stays dry, mineral and elegant on the finish. Pair with roast poultry, rich potato recipes, vegetable souffles and raie à la grenobloise.

2014 Domaine de l’Idylle, Cruet, Savoie, France 12.99/140.29

Cruet is a small Savoyard commune at the foot of Mont Blanc in southeastern France. With their low alcohol, sensible price tags and high refreshment quotients, the Savoie’s Jacquere-based wines are among our personal go-to wines for everyday enjoyment. This beauty from Domaine de l’Idylle exemplifies precisely why. Pale green-gold in the glass, the Cruet explodes with brisk green apple and lemon-lime fruit accented by white flower top notes and a mineral suggestion of wet limestone. Bright and lively on the palate, the Cruet’s transparent core of orchard and citrus fruit is accented by notes of lemon zest, silver needle white tea, and saline minerals. Brisk, bracing and ready to be enjoyed all year long, we suggest offering this as an eyebrow-raising aperitif or as a lovely partner to shellfish, crustaceans, sashimi and white-fleshed fish. It will also be a terrific choice with Savoyard cheeses such as raclette and tomme de Savoie, fondues, scalloped potatoes and grilled summer squashes. Be sure to buy plenty of this Alpine beauty for the coming warmer months, but finish your stash over the coming year.

ITALY – WHITE

2014 Miali, Verdeca, Single Vineyard, Valle d’Itria IGP, Puglia, Italy
11.99/129.49 reg. 13.99

Verdeca, a relatively rare white grape variety grown primarily in central Puglia, makes its first appearance in these pages. Casting a green-tinged lemon-gold color in the glass, Miali’s Verdeca explodes out of the bowl with fresh, Riesling-like aromas of honeysuckle blossoms, green apples, sweet grapefruit and jasmine. Brisk and appetizingly bitter on the palate, the Verdeca adds notes of bergamot, hops, lemon drops and marjoram. Crisp, refreshing and truly distinctive, this rare wonder should be served now and over the coming year with all things seafood, white pastas and pizzas, sauteed summer squashes and light hors d’oeuvres.

2014 Jubilaumskellerei, Pinot Bianco, Jubilee, Alto Adige, Italy 14.99/161.89

Alto Adige lies on Italy’ subalpine border with Austria, where the juxtaposition of high altitude freshness and warm microclimate makes these wines some of Italy’s most compelling and interesting. Jubilaumskellerei’s Pinot Blanc Jubilee exemplifies these contrasts with a brilliant gold color and aromas that mesh alpine minerality, beautiful white flower and chamomile notes with fully ripe pear and yellow apple fruit. Brisk on the attack, the Jubilee fleshes out mid-palate to reveal lovely apricot and Golden Delicious apple fruit alongside touches of herbs. Hints of menthol and chamomile segue the wine to its long, satisfying finish. Tremendously versatile with food, this wine will pair now and over the coming two years with sauteed green leafy vegetables, squashes, earthy lentils, shellfish, sushi and sashimi.

LINER & ELSEN
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Portland, OR 97210
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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

Feb 5 - A tasting of superb Nebbioli from Gattinara.

Feb. 19 - Come taste the bold wines from Italy's Campania region.

Mar. 4 - Is Chenin Blanc the finest white wine on the planet? Find out!


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

Feb. 6 - Wines from La Belle France: Dom. Gonon Macon-Bussieres, Ch. d’Orschwihr Pinot Gris, Jean-Francois Garlon Beaujolais, Bichot Savigny les Beaune, Jean-Philippe Padie Petit Taureau, and Jerome Calmes Minervois Les Vialas.

Feb. 13 - A tasting of sparkling wines for Valentine’s Day. Plus, superb wines from here and there: Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir (Oregon), Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner (Austria), and Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat (Spain).

Feb. 20 - Italian Beauties: Miali Verdeca, Jubilaumskellerei Pinot Blanc, Falchini Titolato Colombaia Chianti, Caprili Rosso di Montalcino, Italo Pietrantonj Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna.

Feb. 27 - From France: Dom. de l’Idylle Cruet, Dom. Leon Boesch Sylvaner, Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone, Dom. des Champs Fleuris Saumur-Champigny. Plus, from Oregon: Cameron Winery Pinot Noir.


SPECIAL EVENTS:

AN EXTRAORDINARY
SHERRY TASTING
with John House from Ole Imports

Tues., Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. sharp

This will be one of the most unique Sherry tastings ever held in the U.S.! Some of these wines have not seen the light of day in this country: among them are Soleras started before 1800.

For those of you wanting to learn about Sherry – and for those of you who thought you’ve tasted them all – these wines will blow your minds!

The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. Price per seat is $100. Contact L&E or purchase seats online at our website.


BURGUNDY TASTING
With Luc Bouchard from Bouchard Pere & Fils and Domaine William Fevre

Mon., Feb. 22
from 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Join Luc Bouchard for a tasting of red and white wines from one of Burgundy’s most esteemed estates. The wines of Bouchard date back to 1731, and over the centuries they have produced so many astonishing wines.

We’ll taste wines from a variety of vintages. The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

No reservations are needed. Fee for the tasting is $10.


CHANDON DE BRIAILLES
Burgundy Dinner at Castagna Restaurant

Tues., March 8, 6:45 p.m.

Please join us for dinner at Castagna Restaurant as we welcome one of our favorite Burgundy winemakers, Claude de Nicolay of Domaine Chandon de Briailles.

Her wines are among the purest expressions of red and white Burgundy. The Domaine selections, matched with the incomparable food at Castagna, guarantee a wonderful evening!

The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. Seats are $130 per person, all inclusive. Contact L&E or purchase seats online at our website.

 

Valentine's Day
Special Offer

This Valentine's Day, let us
treat you! Take 10% off all Champagnes and sparkling wines purchased from Monday through Saturday, Feb. 8-13.

Discount applies in-store or online using code VALENTINE
at checkout
.


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.