APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

 

OREGON - RED

2013 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (O) 17.99/194.29

 John Paul has done it again! How can anyone fashion such a delicious and complete Willamette Valley Pinot for under $20? Medium ruby in the glass, Cameron’s 2013 Pinot opens with aeration to reveal classic Willamette Valley Pinot aromas of red raspberries, wild cherries and a dark mineral undercurrent. Bright and crunchy on the palate, the wine reveals a gorgeous core of Bing cherry fruit framed by firm tannins and smoky minerals. Juicy and vibrant from start to finish, Cameron’s 2013 Pinot finishes bright and lip-smackingly delicious with persistent reprises of black cherry fruit, earthy minerality and zesty cinnamon bark. Stock up on this incredible value and pair it with broiled Chinook salmon, roast chicken, potato galettes, and recipes featuring spring morel mushrooms. Be sure to decant this wine and give it plenty of air before serving. It will also reward five years’ aging in your cool cellar.

 2013 St. Innocent, Pinot Noir, Villages Cuvee, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 23.99/259.09

 Since 1988, Mark Vlossak has been crafting some of Oregon’s most elegant, detailed and terroir-focused Pinot Noirs. Sourced from six of the northern Willamette Valley’s top vineyards, St. Innocent’s 2013 Villages Cuvee casts a bright ruby robe followed by deep aromas of loganberries, pie cherries, dried herbs and cedar. Fresh and zippy on the palate, the Villages Cuvee expresses a tangy core of red berry fruit balanced by fine, dusty tannins and suggestions of cherry skin, menthol and loamy earth. Bright, persistent and thoroughly delicious, the Villages Cuvee’s tangy core of red berry fruit carries through to the long, floral finish. Pair with grilled salmon, chicken breasts, roast duck and potatoes au gratin now and over the coming five years.

 

FRANCE - RED

2012 Francois Gay, Chorey-les-Beaune, Burgundy, France 24.99/269.89

 Francois Gay’s approach of short pruning, low yields and traditional vinification rewards the Burgundy enthusiast with some of the most vinous, resinous and terroir-expressive red Burgundy values on the market. Reflecting a transparent garnet robe, Gay’s 2012 Chorey-les-Beaune explodes with a high-toned bouquet of fresh red raspberries, violets, cured meat and perfumed limestone terroir. On the palate, the Chorey’s taut kernel of red berry fruit meshes with rustic, earthy Burgundian soil notes and fine, framing tannins. The wine finishes with a persistent undercurrent of inimitable Cote-de-Beaune limestone earthiness alongside suggestions of pomegranate, violets, menthol and lip-dusting tannins. Drink this stellar value now or over the next decade with roast chicken, pork chops, grilled steaks and potato casseroles. Limited.

2013 Domaine Jean Vullien, Mondeuse, St.-Jean de la Porte, Savoie, France 12.99/140.29

 Mondeuse, the cool, elusive, peppery red of the Savoie, has recently been confirmed to be a relative of the noble Syrah of the Northern Rhone Valley. Jean Vullien’s Mondeuse – from St.-Jean de la Porte, one of the finest crus for the varietal – casts a beautiful purple ruby robe followed by aromas of white pepper, bitter cherries, violets, smoke and graphite minerals. On the palate, the Mondeuse beguiles with hints of cherry and plum complemented by suggestions of tar, tobacco, camphor and black tea. Long and lingering on the back-palate, the wine adds further notes of black pepper, smoked salt, blood oranges and bitter herbs. The connection to Syrah is vivid, yet this wine is brighter, zestier and more versatile. Enjoy this affordable wonder now and over the coming three years with roast chicken, quail, duck and goose, washed-rind cheeses, potatoes au gratin, vegetable souffles, and dishes featuring wild mushrooms and rich cream sauces.

2012 Domaine Lombard, La Cote, Drome, IGP, Northern Rhone Valley, France (O) 14.99/161.89

 Did we say delicious? This wine is knockout delicious! From the Northern Rhone Valley’s Drome sector comes this delicious organic, mini-Cote-Rotie fashioned from 90% Syrah co-fermented with 10% Viognier. Translucent plum-ruby in the glass, Lombard’s La Cote oozes with young Cote-Rotie aromas of damson plums, smoked meat, tar, violets, blood orange peel and saddle leather. Unlike the stern Cote-Rotie at this stage, Lombard’s La Cote is vibrant, precocious and open for business. Notes of licorice, black pepper, granitic minerals, fruitwood smoke and orange zest marry with the wine’s pulsing, energetic core of pomegranate, cherry and plum fruit. This affordable wine is perfect for barbecues, Provencal vegetarian fare, and everyday enjoyment. Serve this organic Northern Rhone wonder now and over the coming three years.

2012 Les Eminades, Cebenna, Saint-Chinian, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (CO)  15.99/172.69

 New to our shelves, this gorgeous rouge from Saint-Chinian casts dark, brooding aromas of sun-warmed plums, cassis, tar, dark-roasted coffee, herbal garrigue and black licorice. Firm and tannic on the attack, Les Eminades’ Saint-Chinian bursts on the palate with spicy black cherry fruit backed by hints of cinnamon, leather, juniper and baker’s chocolate. Deep and resinous, the wine finishes long and serious beyond its price tag with echoes of its black-fruited core, firm, plentiful tannins, and complex suggestions of tobacco, sassafras, black pepper, bay leaf and vanilla bean. This is a superb choice to ward off the chills of cool vernal evenings and to carry you throughout the year whenever a bold, rustic red wine is the call. Enjoy now and over the coming ten years with grilled lamb chops, pork, beef and lamb stews, hearty eggplant dishes and appetizers featuring a rich, spicy tapenade.

2013 Domaine Laroque, Cite de Carcassonne, IGP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 8.99/97.09

 The Cite de Carcassonne IGP, the historical area that surrounds the famous walled city of Carcassonne, enjoys a privileged climate where the heat of the Mediterranean is tempered by the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Unique for this part of France, Domaine Laroque fashions this beauty from 100% Cabernet Franc. A translucent young claret robe in the glass yields to deep Cabernet Franc aromas of tobacco, rhubarb, brown spices and tarragon. Soft, silky on the palate, cherry and red currant fruit play with herbal tobacco and red licorice notes. Fine tannins and balancing acidity enliven the wine’s soft currant fruit profile. Pair this special Cabernet Franc now and over the coming two years with pork rillettes, cassoulet, earthy lentils du Puy and braised rabbit.

2008 Chateau Larose-Trintaudon, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France 21.99/237.49

 For over five decades Chateau Larose-Trintaudon has issued superbly authentic, age-worthy and under-the-radar clarets. Leveraging the vintage’s long growing season, their 2008 shows impressive nuance and complexity. A classic Left Bank blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the wine reveals a claret robe followed by a captivating bouquet of cassis, cedar, incense, tar and vanilla. On the palate, a silky core of black cherry and currant fruit is backed by plentiful, food-friendly tannins and hints of caramel, wood spice and gravelly soil. The wine finishes long, graceful and poised with echoes of cherry and currant fruit mingling with lovely hints of cocoa, caramel and crushed herbs. This is classic Medoc just approaching its window of maturity. Pair now with hearty fare like potatoes au gratin, roast beef, leg of lamb or rustic mushroom preparations. Better yet, lay down a stash for enjoyment over the coming decade or two.

2010 Chateau La Grace Dieu, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France 37.99/410.29

 Here’s a superb, old-school Saint-Emilion that’s built for the long haul. Our perennial Right Bank favorite, Chateau La Grace Dieu, exemplifies all the qualities we love about the great 2010 vintage: the impeccable balance of pure fruit, plentiful old school tannins, brisk acidity, and ineffable soil transparency. The wine’s opaque black plum robe segues to gorgeous Right Bank aromas of plums, mocha, tobacco and soil. Conveying a tense, coiled kernel of plum and black cherry fruit, the Grace Dieu – a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc – presents waves of plentiful, chewy tannins backed by a tar and gravel soil signature. Notes of sappy herbs and vanilla bean join reprises of red and black fruits and old-school framing tannins to ensure that this Right Bank wonder has plenty in reserve for extended cellar aging. Buy by the case to enjoy now with hearty rib roasts of beef and rich mushroom dishes, but ideally to lay down and allow the wine’s tannic backbone melt into its dense kernel of cherry, currant and plum fruit.

 

ITALY - RED

2009 Conte Loredan Gasparini, Venegazzu, Rosso della Casa, Montello e Colli Asolani, Veneto, Italy 18.99/205.09

 North of Venice in the Treviso hills, the classic Bordeaux varietals have been planted since the 1950s to fashion Bordeaux-style red wines of unusual complexity and value. An opaque young garnet color, Gasparini’s Rosso della Casa opens with Medoc-like aromas of cassis, lead pencil, tobacco and herbs. Rich and silky on the palate, the wine shows tangy acidity and fine, food-friendly tannins balancing a dense core of black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. Complex notes of licorice, tobacco and baker’s chocolate emerge on the long finish alongside subtle hints of bitter herbs, mushroom-y sotto bosco and a touch of appetizing Franc-o-licious “funk.” Aged eighteen months in large, neutral oak barrels, the purity of the wine’s fruit takes center stage while its superb structure ensures years of positive evolution in your cellar. This is an elegant and distinctive interpretation of a classic Left Bank Bordeaux, and its lack of obvious oak influences makes the wine especially suitable for hearty braises, roasts and grilled meats, and vegetarian casseroles.

2012 Giuseppe Nada, Barbera d’Alba, Superiore, Piedmont, Italy 14.99/161.89
Reg. 16.99

 The Giuseppe Nada domaine boasts vineyards in Treiso’s hallowed crus of Marcarini and Casot. From plantings in the Marcarini cru, Nada’s terrific 2012 Barbera d’Alba casts a translucent ruby robe segueing to textbook aromas of ripe plums, button mushrooms and blond leather. Brisk acidity and fine tannins buoy the wines’ voluptuous black cherry fruit alongside suggestions of fresh bay leaf, tar, violet petals and baker’s chocolate. A year’s aging in large French oak barrels has rounded the Barbera’s fierce acidic nature while elevating its sappy core of blackberry and black cherry fruit. This is superb Barbera that’s ready for your table tonight and over the coming three years with beef carpaccio, mushroom risotto, and rich carbonara. It will also delight with everyday fare like burgers, mac ‘n cheese, pan-seared pork chops, and eggplant lasagna.

2010 Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco (Torre), Piedmont, Italy 26.99/291.49

 All we can say is “Oh, my gosh!” In the greatness of Piedmont’s 2010 vintage, the Produttori decided to blend its finest juice and release it with its “basic” Barbaresco label. The addition of the single-vineyard cuvees has elevated this wine to previously unachieved levels. A textbook Nebbiolo amber-rimmed garnet color, the Produttori’s 2010 Barbaresco jumps out of the glass with a classic bouquet of Morello cherries, licorice, leather, camphor, calcareous minerals and white truffles. On the palate, the wine caresses with silky cherry and red currant fruit before a lashing of firm, old-school Nebbiolo tannins sneak in to remind us that there’s indeed riserva-level juice in this bottle – and that we must pay it proper respect. Bright, livening acidity propels the Barbaresco on its long finish, while suggestions of anise, rose petals, cedary pencil shavings, cinnamon, cherry blossoms and potpourri serve to make this one of the complex, balanced and compelling offerings from the Produttori in many a moon. The wine’s firm tannins ensure at least two decades of positive evolution. Decant and serve with hearty Piemontese fare like creamy risottos, egg-rich tajarin topped with shaved truffles or a rich ragu, braised game, rack of lamb and hearty beef stews. Limited.

 

WHITE WINES

OREGON - WHITE

2014 Cameron Winery, Pinot Blanc, Giovanni, Dundee Hills, Oregon (S) 13.50/145.80 

 This the most complex Giovanni release from Cameron winery yet. Sourced from the renowned Abbey Ridge Vineyard, the blend offers a core of Pinot Blanc plus dollops of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Cameron’s 2014 Giovanni opens with ripe, tropical aromas of pineapple, spiced pears and quince. Smoky soil notes segue the Giovanni to its rich, Alsatian palate of green melon fruit, yellow peaches, lemon balm, menthol and complex spice. Hints of mint, fiddlehead fern and Seville oranges mark the wine’s long fleshy finish. As irrepressible as its creator, Cameron’s 2014 Giovanni finishes sprightly and vivacious. Enjoy over the coming eighteen months as a complement to grilled halibut, cedar plank salmon, zucchini frittatas, omelets, brook trout and grilled vegetables.

 

FRANCE - WHITE

 2012 Francois Cazin, Le Petit Chambord, Cour-Cheverny, Loire Valley, France (O) 15.99/ 172.69

 This is an amazingly complex wine that reveals yet another color in the endlessly intriguing and rewarding spectrum of Loire Valley wines. Using Romorantin, a rare, historic heirloom grape varietal from the eastern Loire Valley, Francois Cazin fashions dry and dessert-style wines of rare focus and complexity. The 2012 Cour-Cheverny casts a brilliant green-glinted lemon gold color in the glass followed by a bouquet of green melon, gunpowder tea, sorrel and flinty minerals. On the palate, the wine conveys notes of sappy quince, breadfruit, linden blossom and fresh ginger before segueing to a long finish featuring suggestions of lemon balm, fresh bay leaf, flint and chalk. We suggest drinking this gem now or over the next two years with goat cheeses, vegetable dishes like zucchini or eggplant, light chicken dishes, or light freshwater fish preparations.

2012 Domaine Bernard Defaix, Chablis, Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy, France (CO)  19.99/215.89

 Defaix’s 2012 old-vine Chablis is a textbook example of true character and value from vineyards in the very heart of the Chablis appellation. Brilliant green-glinted lemon-gold in the glass, the wine casts aromas of dusty oyster shells, lemon juice and Brazil nuts. Brisk and racy on the attack, Defaix’s Chablis fuses a juicy core of lemon, Bartlett pear and green apple fruit with electric acidity and a riveting undercurrent of flinty, oyster shell minerality. Classically brisk but impressively textured on the palate, this is superb Chablis that combines the region’s special Kimmeridgean limestone mineral expression with laser-sharp lemony Chardonnay fruit and sappy suggestions raw hazelnuts. Serve as a lovely foil for oysters, clams, mussels, prawns and the entire spectrum of fish and shellfish. Enjoy this delicious, shimmering Chablis now and over the coming three years.

 

GERMANY - WHITE

2008 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Piesporter Goldtropfchen, Erste Lage, Riesling, Spatlese, Mosel, Germany 21.99/237.49 Reg. 26.99

 From one of the most important estates in the Mosel and one of region’s steepest, most revered vineyards, we’re delighted to present this beautiful and honeyed Spatlese. A deep lemon gold color in the glass, von Kesselstatt’s Goldtropfchen Spatlese bursts with aromas of Mirabelle plums, quince, malt and slate-driven terroir. On the palate suggestions of apricots and clover honey are elevated by juicy acidity and dissolved grey slate minerality. Hints of peaches, lime zest and ripe pineapple linger on the wine’s long finish alongside mature, complex notes of petrol, flint and slate. This is a gorgeous, full-bodied Spatlese – almost a mini-Auslese – that is entering the first stages of maturity and drinking smashingly well now. It will also reward another decade or two in your cellar. Pair with Asian cuisines, sauteed steelhead, steamed shellfish and light pastas. Very limited.

 

ITALY - WHITE

2013 Marotti Campi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Superiore, Luzano 
Marches, Italy (S) 12.99/140.29

 Verdicchio is central Italy’s most distinctive white varietal, especially when it hails from the mineral-rich soils of the Castelli di Jesi’s Classico Superiore zone just miles from the Adriatic Sea. Marotti Campi’s 2013 Luzano Verdicchio opens with a straw gold color and complex aromas of acacia blossoms, sweet meadow flowers, sugar snap peas, white pepper and flinty minerals. The palate combines crunchy green pear fruit, bittersweet apricot skin with a riveting acid backbone. Brisk and uncompromisingly dry, the Luzano finishes with reprises of snap peas, pear fruit and flinty minerals, all propelled by the wine’s brilliant acidity. A haunting touch of bitter almond lingers on the palate as you prepare your next bite of roast pork, baked chicken, freshwater fish, and recipes featuring zucchini and summer squashes. Serve this superb and special Verdicchio now and over the coming three years.

2013 Antonelli, Grechetto dei Colli Martani, Umbria, Italy 11.50/124.20

 Grechetto, Umbria’s signature white varietal, finds its greatest expression in the Colli Martani zone south of Perugia. Antonelli’s 2013 Grechetto begins with a medium lemon-gold color and deep aromas of Bartlett pears, acacia and hawthorn blossom. Crisp, intense and focused on the palate, the wine complements its juicy core of melon fruit with crisp acidity and notes of Asian pear and bitter almonds. Antonelli’s Grechetto finishes long and juicy with further notes of crisp pear, honeydew melon, lemon drops and anise. Grechetto is rightfully gaining serious attention as one of Italy’s premier white wines, and we suggest pairing this distinctive central Italian bianco over the coming year with pan-fried trout, zucchini, seafood pastas, young chevres and grilled halibut.

 

SPAIN - WHITE

2014 Zudugarai, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 15.99/172.69

 Few things herald the coming of spring like the new vintage of spanking fresh Txakolis. New to our palates is this smokin’ good Txakoli from Zudugarai. Based on a blend of 90% Hondarribi Zuri and 10% Hondarribi Beltza, Zudugarai’s Txakoli bursts out of the glass with a healthy dose of dissolved CO-2, a pale lemon gold color, and high-toned aromas of lime juice, green apple skin, green olives and salty minerals. Zippy and light on the palate, the wine’s kernel of citrus fruit takes center stage with bold expressions of fresh lemon juice, Key Lime zest and sour tangerine. Leaving the palate, the wine deposits a delicious dusting of saline minerals on the lips and inner cheeks while adding notes of quinine and freshly grated ginger. This is fantastic Txakoli, a true value for its denominación and a superb choice for warm weather refreshment. Partner with raw and steamed shellfish, light squid tapas, grilled sardines, boquerones, ceviche, and acidic vegetables like steamed artichokes and grilled asparagus.

2013 Benito Santos, Igrexario de Saiar, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain  (O)14.99/161.89

 While northwestern Spain’s signature white varietal, Albarino, is often coaxed to reflect a tropical fruit profile, we’re partial to the brisk, saline, minerally examples such as this beauty from Benito Santos. Organically grown and naturally crafted, Benito Santos’ stunning Albarino reveals a pale lemon-gold hue in the glass followed by aromas of lemon zest, papaya, smoky crushed granite, and wild yeast top notes. Zippy and refreshing on the palate, the wine alternates waves of white grapefruit, lime juice and green pineapple accented by an appetizingly bitter herbal edge. This is one of the most exciting Albarinos we’ve tasted in years! A fabulous choice to accompany anything pulled from the water, it will also pair exceedingly well with fresh vegetables, light pastas and myriad tapas.

 

ROSÉ WINE

FRANCE - ROSÉ

2014 Chateau Beaulieu, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Rose, Provence, France 14.99/161.89

 This is a lovely Provencal rose, and a superb example of the acclaimed 2014 vintage. Fashioned entirely from estate-grown fruit, the Chateau Beaulieu fresh-off-the-boat 2014 rose – a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cinsault and Syrah – sports an orange-tinted salmon color in the glass followed by lovely aromas of cherry blossoms, herbal garrigue, ruby grapefruit and white pepper. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, Beaulieu’s 2014 rose offers crisp, crunchy suggestions of Rainier cherries, golden raspberries and bitter orange peel suffused with flinty minerals. Dry, tensile and bursting with refreshment, the wine finishes with notes of ruby red grapefruit, bracing acidity and a lip-smacking dusting of saline minerals. 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.


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

APRIL 3 Ahhh…White Burgundies from the Beaune Appellation.

APRIL 17 A taste of Bandol: Reds, whites and rosés.

MAY 1 Savor the great Chenin Blancs from Savennieres.



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

Weekly; Starts at
12 noon - No fee

APRIL 4
Goodness from Oregon: Cameron Pinot Blanc Giovanni, Cameron Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, and St. Innocent Pinot Noir Villages Cuvee.
Tutti Italia: Antonelli Grechetto, Marotti Campi Verdicchio, Giuseppe Nada Barbera d’Alba, Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco, and Conte Loredan Gasparini Venegazzu.

APRIL 11
The Tuttles are back! Olga and Barnaby will pour the new wines from Teutonic.
From France: Dom. Bernard Defaix Chablis V.V. François Gay Chorey-les-Beaune, Dom. Jean Vullien Mondeuse, Dom. Lombard La Cote, and Ch. La Grace Dieu Saint-Emilion.

APRIL 18
A taste of the Piedmont with Cinzia Travaglini, winemaker for the best wines – and most unique bottles – from Gattinara.
From Spain: Benito Santos Igrexario de Saiar Albarino, and Zudugarai Getariako Txakolina.

APRIL 25
From France: Ch. Beaulieu Provencal Rose, F. Cazin Le Petit Chambord Cour-Cheverny, Les Eminades Cebenna St.-Chinian, Dom. Laroque Cite de Carcassonne, and Ch. Larose-Trintaudon Haut-Medoc.



SPECIAL EVENT AT L&E:

Burgundy Tasting:
DOMAINE CHANDON DE BRIAILLES

Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m.

Please join Michael Sullivan of Beaune Imports and Doug Culver from C&G Wines for a tasting of the superlative red and white Burgundy wines of Domaine Chandon de Briailles.

The focus will be the 2011 vintage, plus a few older vintages. We consider these among the best valued wines in all of Burgundy – guaranteed to impress!

Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. $75 per seat.

Reserve your seat now.


B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed

© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Information and prices apply during the current month only. Wine availability and prices are subject to quantity on hand. We are not responsible for mispriced items in the newsletter.