OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

RED WINES

OREGON – RED

2012 Crowley, Pinot Noir, Entre Nous, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 27.99/302.29

2012 is Tyson Crowley’s seventh solo vintage, and his talents have never been more evident or more remarkable. A blend of classic Pommard and Wädenswil clones from the Four Winds and Laurel Hood vineyards, Crowley’s Entre Nous captivates with deep aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, cinnamon and wood spice. Suave and sexy on the palate, the wine unfurls with layers of cherry and black raspberry fruit complicated by suggestions of cloves, dried orange peel and loamy earth. Fine tannins and subtle barrel hints of toffee emerge on the back-palate and lead the wine to a long, rich and satisfying finish. With only 575 cases for the world, this will go quickly, so reserve your stash for enjoyment with roast chicken, duck, rich potatoes au gratin, stews and other hearty fare. This is a full-bodied Pinot that will stand up to rich, savory dishes. Drink now and over the next seven years.

FRANCE – RED

2012 Bernard Defaix, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France (O) 15.99/172.69

Bernard Defaix’s 2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir conveys the wonderful marriage of earthy-yet-pure Burgundian Pinot Noir on Chablis’ special soils. An opaque ruby hue in the glass, Defaix’s Bourgogne rouge casts aromas of cherry and raspberry fruit infused with the perfumed minerality of the white limestone soils of the Auxerre. Brisk acidity and waves of bright limestone minerals seemingly impale the wine’s fresh, sappy boysenberry fruit into the tongue. Chewy food-friendly tannins, tangy acidity, and hints of cinnamon, herbs and cured meats join an undercurrent of oyster-shell limestone terroir on the wine’s long, graceful finish. Utterly delicious and endlessly versatile at the table, we suggest enjoying this beauty both young to capture all of its vibrant berry fruit and lip-smacking acidity, and again in five years or so when the wine’s structure melds into its core of sappy berry fruit. Pair with roast chicken, duck, potatoes au gratin, salmon and light pork preparations.

2012 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie, Bourgueil, Cuvee Beauvais, Loire Valley, France (S) 18.99/205.09

Bourgueil, along with its neighbor Chinon, are the planet’s benchmarks for the noble Cabernet Franc grape. Among the pinnacles of Thierry Boucard’s Domaine de la Chanteleuserie is this single-vineyard wonder, the Cuvee Beauvais. Beauvais is a planting of old vines in tuffeau, a porous, white limestone that imparts an incomparable bouquet of perfumed crushed soil accented with hints of dusty gravel. Opaque red-ruby in the glass, Chanteleuserie’s 2012 Cuvee Beauvais infuses this bright gout de terroir into the wine’s crunchy core of raspberry and red currant fruit, lip-smacking acidity and a wave of fine, palate-coating tannins. Suggestions of sweet tobacco, brown spices, violets and licorice sneak in on the long, complex finish. This is another stunning wine from Chanteleuserie, and, as usual, a terrific value. We suggest buying a case to enjoy now and over the coming decade with pork rillettes, gratin dauphinois, hanger steaks, grilled eggplant, fresh chevres, burgers, poultry, just about anything but seafood and green vegetables.
-A Kermit Lynch selection

2012 Jean-Pierre Gaussen, Vin de Pays du Mont-Caume, Provence, France (O) 13.50/145.80

Farming traditionally without pesticides or herbicides, Jean-Pierre Gaussen makes rustic, soulful, satisfying Provençal wines that simply knock you out with their depth, authenticity and character. In addition to his prestigious Bandols, Gaussen also crafts this vin de pays, his “country” wine, which takes the traditional Bandol varietals, Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, and adds a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. Exuberant and floral right out of the chute, this wine immediately offers far more than its humble price tag suggests. Bright cherry, blood orange, game, lavender and violet aromas segue to a palate packed with the kind of smoky, leathery, earthy Mourvedre notes that are found only in the very finest red Bandols. Fine tannins, hints of cedar, sweet tobacco and tar mark the wine’s impressively complex and satisfying finish. Perfect for cool weather gatherings, Gaussen’s vin de pays will work well with everyday grilled fare or your heartiest recipes featuring, game, beef, lamb or venison. Enjoy now or over the coming three years.

2011 Yves Cheron, Cotes du Rhone, Les Dentelles, Southern Rhone Valley, France (S) 9.99/107.89

Yves Cheron’s elegantly-structured Grenache-based reds are designed for purity of fruit and transparency of soil, yielding a most affordable Southern Rhone rouge of impressive depth and character. Based on a classic Southern Rhone blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, Cheron’s Cotes du Rhone opens with a saturated ruby red color and deep aromas of red currants, dried herbs, potpourri, licorice and violets. Initially rich and silky on the palate, the wine quickly presents a firm tannic backbone beside juicy suggestions of Bing cherries, Seville oranges and ripe figs. Long and delicious, the wine finishes with plenty of fine, food-friendly tannins and complex notes of dried rose petals, sappy herbal garrigue, spicy cinnamon and cracked black pepper. This is a superb Cotes du Rhone for a song. Buy plenty to keep you fortified through the long, damp winter. Pair it now and over the coming three years with roast lamb, baked eggplant, cured meats, braised rabbit and game.

2010 Domaine Berthoumieu, Madiran, Haute Tradition, Southwest France 13.50/135.00

Along with Cahors, Madiran is one the two legendary “black wines of France.” Berthoumieu’s 2010 Haute Tradition fuses the natural intensity of Madiran with gorgeous, inviting black fruit aromas and an abundance of ripe, nuanced fruit that makes it delicious from the get-go. Based on the tannin-rich Tannat grape, seasoned with dollops of Cabernet Sauvignon and the indigenous Pinenc (Fer Servadou), Berthoumieu’s Madiran boasts a brooding nose of tarry blackberry and black plum fruits highlighted by hints of spicy oak and menthol. The palate offers earth, leather, tar and dried herbs, joined on the mid-palate by tarry plum and blackberry fruit, mocha, and firm, mouth-coating tannins. The back-palate introduces a clay soil undercurrent, which marries harmoniously with the wine’s deep black fruit expression and plentiful tannins. Lovers of big, bold reds are especially advised to give this special wine a try. Enjoy now or over the coming five years with magret de canard, rib roasts of beef and hearty eggplant-rich vegetarian casseroles.

ITALY – RED

2011 Buglioni, Valpolicella Classico, Il Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 14.99/161.89

The wines of Alfredo Buglioni display floral aromatics, generous palate presence and soil transparency rare for the Valpolicella region. His 2011 Il Valpolicella – a blend of 60% Corvina, 25% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella and 5% Molinara – opens with a saturated ruby color a beautiful bouquet of cherry blossoms, violets, dried leaves and chalk dust. Fresh and snappy on the palate, the wine presents notes of cherry skin, underbrush, menthol and black tea backed by fine, appetizing tannins. Showing impressive balance and that special sense of tangy, just-crushed fruit, the wine finishes with lingering hints of mandarin orange, Morello cherries, chalky soil and leafy underbrush. This is a superb choice for an autumnal everyday red. It’s exceedingly versatile at the table and will make a great foil for grilled and roasted white meats, antipasti, mushroom soups, seared ahi, mackerel and tangy fresh cheeses. Superb Valpolicella.

2010 Le Piane, Mimmo, Vino Rosso, Boca, Piedmont, Italy 22.99/248.29 reg. 27.99

Christoph Künzli and a group of likeminded gastronomes purchased the great Antonio Cerri estate, considered to be the region’s finest. Künzli’s Mimmo, a classic blend of 70% Nebbiolo, 25% Croatina and 5% Vespolina, is a superb introduction to the riches to be discovered in far northeastern Piedmont. A crimson-tinged garnet in the bowl, Le Piane’s Mimmo casts delicate aromas of rose petals, violets, lavender, cherry skin and smoky minerals. Clean, crisp and transparent on the palate, the Mimmo fuses bitter cherry fruit with floral overtones and a deep underpinning of dusty soil. Fine Nebbiolo tannins and riveting acidity attest to the wine’s northern and high altitude origins, and make this an especially versatile red to be enjoyed year round. Think of this as a Langhe Rosso, but with glacial purity, extra transparency and high-altitude tension. We love this wine and will be pairing it with all things Piemontese, especially egg-rich pasta dressed with long-simmered sauces, braised beef, mild soft-rind cheeses and rich potato recipes. Limited quantities.

2008 Tenute Sella, Lessona, Piedmont, Italy 29.99/323.89 reg. 40.99

Tenute Sella, is a benchmark producer in the northern, subalpine Piedmont regions of Lessona and Bramaterra. At barely sixteen acres, Lessona is one of Piedmont’s smallest and rarest DOCs. The Sella family has been producing wine from their own vineyards in this remote sector since 1671, making it one of Italy’s oldest and most historic wineries. Sella’s 2008 Lessona is fascinating blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Vespolina aged for 24 months in large neutral barrels. A transparent rusty crimson color, the Lessona offers a delicious bouquet of dried rose petals, pie cherries, tobacco and ferrous soil. Clean and crisp on the palate, the wine continues with suggestions of preserved cherries, bitter medicinal herbs, almond skin and menthol. Fine tannins sneak in on the back-palate and segue the wine to a long, soil-driven finish. Pair this unique and fascinating Piedmont wine with roast poultry, meats and game, salumi, pastas tossed a butter-sage sauce, and Piemontese cheeses like Toma Piemontese, Bra Duro and Castelmagno. Very limited.

2001 Pier, Barbaresco, Riserva, Rio Sordo, Piedmont, Italy 26.99/291.49

What’s special about this 2001 Rio Sordo from Azienda Agricola Pier is that, at thirteen years of age and three years in large botti, it shows all the complexity of a fully mature, grand cru Barbaresco. A deep garnet color in the bowl gradates to the classic Nebbiolo orange-amber rim. Textbook mature Barbaresco aromas of button mushrooms, leafy underbrush and dried rose petals follow alongside subtle vanilla bean overtones. Brisk acidity on the fore-palate lifts the wine’s kernel of earthy mushroom and cherry fruit while firm, buffered tannins on the back-palate frame the wine to achieve a superb sense of balance. The wine finishes with complex suggestions of dried orange peel, anise, cinnamon, camphor and limestone soil alongside mushrooms, faded rose petals and leafy underbrush. Nebbiolo fans, this is the cru Barbaresco choice to enjoy now and over the coming decade, and to help keep your hands off your young 2004’s, 2006’s and 2008’s. Delicious, mature and autumnal, enjoy this superb value with mushroom risotto, tajarìn, roast squab, quail and other full-flavored fare.

PORTUGAL – RED

2011 Faldas da Serra, Quinta das Maias, Vinho Tinto, Dao, Portugal 11.50/124.20

Portugal’s Dao region is well known for producing the nation’s finest dry red table wines. Quinta das Maias’s Dao blends the indigenous varietals Jaen (60%), Touriga Nacional (25%), Alfrocheiro (10%) and Tinta Roriz (5%) to craft a wine that conveys the textural elegance of a fine, traditional Rioja. Quinto das Maias’s 2011 tinto offers aromas of spicy red cherries, damson plums, crushed herbs and graphite minerals. Lush, broad and delicious the instant it hits your palate, Maias’s 2011 tinto fuses plump cherry and plum fruit with accents of menthol, dried orange peel and chewy black licorice. Plush and palate staining, the wine finishes deliciously long with just enough soft, round tannins to frame its fleshy black fruit expressions and amplify its spicy minerality and peppery top notes. Once again, the Quinta das Maias tinto thrills with complexity, character and terrific value. Enjoy now or over the next five years with cured meats, grilled pork, and red meat preparations featuring smoky pimentón.

SPAIN – RED

2012 Jordi Oliver Conti (JOC), Negre, Emporda, Catalonia, Spain 15.99/172.69

In 1991, Jordi Oliver Conti parted ways with his family’s winery and set out on his own to realize his vision of crafting exemplary wines from northeastern Spain’s ruggedly beautiful landscape. Emphasizing Emporda’s Mediterranean climate and superb granite and slate soils. Conti’s Negre (red wine) plays the indigenous Garnacha (65%) with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The result is a deep, rich plum-colored wine redolent of crushed black pepper, spicy plums, violets and camphor. Full bodied and palate-staining, Conti’s Negre’s core of dense plum, blueberry and fig fruit is accented by complex suggestions of licorice, pepper-studded cured meats and bitter chocolate. Hints of cedar, paprika and wintergreen appear on the wine’s long, full finish. This is a lovely wintertime red to pair with only the heartiest of fares: full-flavored braises and stews, grilled meats, game and rich eggplant casseroles. Enjoy over the coming seven years.


WHITE WINES

OREGON – WHITE

2013 Eyrie, Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon 17.99/194.29

From the granddaddy of Pinot Gris in Oregon, the legendary Eyrie Vineyards is back with a vengeance. In 1970 Eyrie produced Oregon’s very first Pinot Gris. Forty-three years later, Eyrie has released yet another classic Oregon Pinot Gris with a rich golden color and refreshing aromas of Williams pears, smoky soil and buttery tarte tatin. On the palate, Eyrie’s just-released 2013 Pinot Gris offers a fleshy yellow plum and fresh apricot expression, followed by a perfumed mineral streak that reminds us of a fine Condrieu. The wine finishes with complex suggestions of ginger, jasmine and Meyer lemon. Jason Lett carries the torch of elegance lit by his father, and this is absolutely gorgeous, textbook Oregon Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley’s most legendary estate. Enjoy now or over the coming seven years with sturgeon, salmon, halibut, oysters, roast chicken and braised pork preparations.

FRANCE – WHITE

2013 Clement et Florian Berthier, Coteaux du Giennois, Loire Valley, France (S) 15.99/172.69

The Coteaux du Giennois in the upper Loire zone shares the famous limestone and silex soils that make the great vineyards of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume famous. The Berthier brothers’ 2013 Coteaux du Giennois could be likened to a “baby” Pouilly-Fume, as it offers similarly brilliant notes of gooseberry, grapefruit, flint, mint, white pepper and freshly cut grass. Lemony acidity, notes of lime zest and fresh ginger enliven the wine on the palate, while electric waves of limestone and silex minerals inform you that this wine could have come from nowhere but the natural home of Sauvignon Blanc: the eastern Loire Valley. Pair this beauty now and over the coming two years with sauteed green vegetables, fresh oysters, clams, mussels and freshwater fishes with a beurre blanc sauce, or as a revivifying aperitif after a hard day’s work. Stunning Sauvignon Blanc!

2013 Domaine Maison Pere & Fils, Cheverny, Loire Valley, France (S) 13.50/145.80

Compare the Berthiers’ Coteaux du Giennois in this month’s newsletter with this affordable wonder from the middle Loire Valley’s Cheverny appellation, and let the wines’ terroirs amaze you. By law, all wines from Cheverny must be a blend of approved varietals, and Domaine Maison’s Cheverny blanc is a racy, classic fusion of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Chardonnay. The Sauvignon, however, dominates this refreshing blend and yields an impressive Cheverny with a crisp, clean bouquet of grapefruit, gooseberries, tarragon and smoky minerals. On the palate, Maison’s Cheverny conveys brisk gooseberry and key lime fruit accented by bristling acidity, notes of Thai basil, and a riveting undercurrent of smoky clay and limestone minerals. Alternating waves of lemon juice, freshly crushed gooseberries, tart Granny Smith apples and smoky minerals highlight the wine’s long, precise finish. Very versatile with food, Maison’s Cheverny will complement simple roasted pheasant, chicken, freshwater fish dishes, fresh chevres and light pork preparations. Enjoy over the coming two years.

2013 Domaine Michel, Macon-Villages, Burgundy, France (S) 20.99/226.69

This is white Burgundy for those who relish big knock-your-socks-off expressions of Chardonnay. For six generations, the Michel family has been producing Maconnais wines in the Clesse village of Cray. Their thirty-seven acres of clay-limestone vineyards are planted entirely to Chardonnay. A rich golden color in the glass, Michel’s Macon-Villages casts a complex bouquet of honey, orange peel and Mirabelle plums. The wine’s full throttle Chardonnay palate is packed with notes of buttered hazelnuts, acacia honey, honeysuckle blossoms and orange marmalade. Hints of toasted wheat join a deep, smoky limestone soil expression on the long rich finish. Enjoy this wonder now and over the coming three years with rich seafood and hearty fare like tuna, sardines, sea snails, escargot, roast duck or rich pork braises.

2012 Domaine Allimant-Laugner, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France 15.99/172.69

The Allimant-Laugner family traces its winegrowing roots in Alsace back to 1724. Now ten generations later, Hubert Laugner runs this impeccable domaine and its impressive holdings in the southern part of Alsace’s Haut-Rhin sector. A pale lemon gold in the glass, Allimant-Laugner’s Pinot Blanc explodes with juicy lemon and tangerine fruit aromas accented by hints of orchard blossoms and jasmine. Fresh, lively and exuberant on the palate, the Pinot Blanc expesses a lovely core of Meyer lemon, golden apple and tangerine fruit enlivened by tangy acidity and smoky minerals. Long and simply delicious, this is a happy wine that will have you smiling from your first sniff all the way to its bright, juicy, can’t-wait-for-another-sip finish. Tremendously food versatile, pair this terrific Pinot Blanc with roast turkey, chicken, duck, light pork, potatoes au gratin – just about everything!

ITALY – WHITE

2013 Cataldi Madonna, Pecorino, Giulia, Terre Acquilane, IGT, Abruzzo, Italy (S) 17.99/194.29

Pecorino, one of Abruzzo’s special, indigenous white grapes, offers superb acidity, intense fruit expression, and terroir transparency. This is, with all due respect, the finest Pecorino to ever pass our lips. A lovely lemon color in the glass, Cataldi Madonna’s Giulia Pecorino casts refreshing aromas of grapefruit, green melon, freshly cut fennel and fresh sage. Warm and inviting on the palate, the wine shows brisk acidity buoying a persistent kernel of kiwi, yellow plum and grapefruit accented by suggestions of saline minerals and rubbed sage. Vivid calcareous minerals infuse the wine’s juicy, fleshy core of citrus and orchard fruit and crunchy fennel before segueing to a long lip-smacking finish. Be sure to buy enough to enjoy now and over the coming three years with white seafood pasta dishes, spaghetti alla carbonara, broiled swordfish, ahi tartare, seafood stews, grilled seasonal squashes and anything topped liberally with good Pecorino Romano cheese.

2013 Montaribaldi, Roero Arneis, Capural, Piedmont, Italy (S) 12.50/135.00

Barbaresco superstars Montaribaldi fashion this superb Arneis from vineyards on the sandy soils of Piedmont’s Roero district. A lovely, limpid green-straw gold in the glass, Montaribaldi’s Arneis blossoms with aromas of green apples, Comice pears, lemon zest and freshly cut fennel. Brisk and invigorating on the palate, suggestions of honeysuckle, acacia, orange peel and Pippin apple are buoyed by citric acidity and haunting notes of almond and sweet cinnamon. Fresh, delicious and an incomparable value, this is the Arneis buy of the year. Pair with delicate white-fleshed fish preparations, light pastas, seasonal squashes and vegetarian risottos. Drink now and over the coming year.


ROSÉ WINE

FRANCE – ROSÉ

2013 Ermitage du Pic St. Loup, Rose, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (B) 16.99/183.49

The wines from Pic St. Loup are renowned for their floral, complex, garrigue-driven characters – all exemplified in this superb rose from Kermit Lynch’s Ermitage du Pic St. Loup. A blend of 30% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 10% Cinsault, the rose casts a lovely bright salmon robe alongside aromas of Rainier cherries, anise, golden raspberries, bitter orange zest and lavender. On the palate, the wine bursts with juicy raspberry, currant and muskmelon fruit topped with complex notes of rose petals, white pepper, garrigue and dusty parched earth. Bright acidity and high-toned wild yeast notes energize the wine as it transitions to its long, juicy, refreshing finish. This is a superb rose to accent your warm autumn evenings and throughout the winter. It’s an early candidate for your Thanksgiving table and will be a terrific partner for broiled salmon, roast chicken, seared ahi, sashimi and seasonal squashes.

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

Website
Shop Online
Contact Us

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


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

OCT. 3 - The wines of Barbaresco and Barolo

OCT. 17 - White Burgundies from the Mâconnais.

NOV. 7 - We take another look at 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir


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

OCT. 4 - From France: Berthier Côteaux du Giennois, Dom. Michel Mâcon-Villages, B. Defaix Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Cuvée Beauvais, and Yves Cheron Côtes du Rhône Les Dentelles.

OCT. 11 - Tutti Italia! Montaribaldi Roero Arneis, Cataldi Madonna Pecorino, Buglioni Valpolicella, Pier Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo, Le Piane Mimmo Vino Rosso, and Tenute Sella.

OCT. 18 - Viva La France! Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Rosé, Dom. Maison Cheverny, Dom. Allimant-Laugner Pinot Blanc, Gaussen Vin de Pays du Mont-Caume, and Dom. Berthoumieu Madiran.

OCT. 25 - From Oregon: Eyrie Pinot Gris and Crowley Pinot Noir Entre Nous. From Iberia: Faldas da Serra Quinta das Maias Vinho Tinto and JOC Negre. From Slovenia: The great wines of Aleks Simcic.


SPECIAL EVENTS:

Bordeaux Tasting with
Anne Cuvelier from
Château Léoville Poyfrerré

Thursday, Oct. 9
6:15-7:30 p.m.

Join us for a tasting of Bordeaux with Anne Cuvelier from Chateau Léoville Poyferré. We will taste an array of wine from this esteemed estate in St. Julien, as well as their affiliated châteaux.

Reservations are not required. Glass fee: $15.


Jura Wine Tasting with
Jean-Francois Bourdy of Domaine Jean Bourdy

Thursday, Nov. 6, 6:30 p.m.

Folks, this will be the tasting of the year! Some of the world’s greatest wines currently rest in the cellars of Jean Bourdy and his family, who have been making wines for seven generations.

We will present a variety of the domaine’s red, white and sparkling wines from this sub-alpine region of the French Alps. Though there are wines available going back to the 1700’s, we will taste only from six decades!

Seating is limited. Please contact Liner & Elsen or reserve your seats at our website. Price per person is $175.



Allegrini Wine Dinner
at Tabla Restaurant

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for superb evening of wines from Allegrini, one of Italy’s most well-regarded wineries in the Veneto. Robin Shay, export manager for the winery, will be on hand to discuss the wines. We are very pleased to partner with Tabla restaurant in SE Portland for this great food and wine event: the restaurant is ours for the evening, so there will be ample seating available.

Please contact Liner & Elsen or reserve your seats at our website. Price per person is $80, inclusive.




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.