JULY 2014 NEWSLETTER

RED WINES

OREGON – RED

2011 Westrey, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 18.99/205.09 Reg. 21.99

Since 1993, Amy Wesselman and David Autrey have been handcrafting fine wines from their fifty-acre Dundee Hills vineyard. The winemakers’ 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a gorgeous example of bright, spicy, red-fruited Oregon Pinot that defines this long, cool vintage. An autumnal garnet color in the glass, Westrey’s 2011 Pinot reveals cherry and cranberry fruit complicated by notes of herbs, rhubarb and geranium. Bright and spicy on the palate, bristling acidity drives the wine’s kernel of cool pomegranate fruit before plentiful, firm tannins arrive to add structure and nerve. Tangy and earthy on the finish, the Westrey Pinot lingers with suggestions of snappy cranberries and bitter chocolate. A lovely choice for enjoyment now and over the coming five years with braised duck, roast pork, zucchini casseroles and juicy burgers hot off the grill.


FRANCE – RED

2010 Laurent Martray, Cote de Brouilly, Les Feuillees, Beaujolais, France 10.99/118.69

This wine’s energy, poise and seriousness bring to mind a Pinot Noir from the Cote de Beaune. Laurent Martray’s Cote de Brouilly Les Feuillees is his top cuvee, fashioned from vines planted in 1916 on a slope so steep and stony it must be worked manually. An opaque crimson-ruby in the glass, Martray’s Les Feuillees opens bright and spicy on the palate, casting aromas of violets, wood smoke and cinnamon. Deep with black cherry fruit and backed by riveting acidity, firm tannins and a dusty soil signature, the wine finishes long and delicious with spicy cherry and bitter orange fruit driven by dusty dissolved minerals. We suggest you cellar a case to enjoy over the next ten years as you would a fine Oregon Pinot Noir or a premier cru Beaune. Pair with broiled salmon, grilled summer squashes or pan-seared pork loin chops. This is serious Beaujolais!

2012 Mas de Boislauzon, La Chaussynette, Southern Rhone Valley, France (O) 12.50/135.00

This is just what we need to get summer rolling: a delicious, uncomplicated, bistro-styled Southern Rhone wine that over delivers for its modest price tag. Famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer, Mas de Boislauzon, fashions its La Chaussynette from 40-year-old organically grown vines near the Coudoulet sector of the Cotes du Rhone-Villages. A brilliant ruby color in the bowl, La Chaussynette – a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% blend of Cinsault and Mourvedre – explodes with garrigue-inflected aromas of kirsch, bay leaf, red currants and Seville oranges. Rich, sappy and velvety on the palate, the Chaussynette offers a fruit-forward core of ripe red fruits backed with wild herbal notes and soft tannins. Pair this soft, easy drinking southern French red over the coming two years with just about everything in the poultry, game, beef, lamb and summer vegetable spectra, or enjoy it all by itself at cool cellar temperature.

2012 Domaine La Tour Boisee, Plantation 1905, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 12.50/135.00

La Tour Boisee’s Plantation 1905 is a blend of twenty-three varietals planted in the Laure-Minervois over one hundred years ago, long neglected, and carefully tended back to health by the domaine. Because some of the varietals aren’t recognized by the AOC, the wine must be classified as a humble vin de table. In fact, this is a smashing full-throttle red that will resonate with lovers of hearty Southern French red wines and the geek contingent alike. Opaque black-plum in the glass, the Plantation 1905 casts lusty, spicy aromas of fig, dried plums, cinnamon stick, black licorice and game. Plump and velvety on the attack, the wine tightens mid-palate to reveal firm, structured tannins, sweet spices, menthol, lemon thyme and sappy herbs. Further suggestions of cassis and damson plum fruit transition the wine to its long licorice and herb-tinged finish. This is fascinating wine and superb selection to pair with rustic fare like daubes of beef, eggplant lasagna and roast leg of lamb. It will also work well with burgers, pork chops and rich vegetarian casseroles.

2012 Oinos, Les Carderes, Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 12.50/135.00

The rugged landscape of Corbieres, just north of Narbonne, produces some of the Languedoc’s wildest and most characterful wines. Oinos’ Les Carderes is a textbook introduction to Corbieres’ charms and sauvagerie. Based on a delicious cuvee of 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache and 25% Carignan from the excellent 2012 vintage, Oinos’ Les Carderes shines with an opaque black plum robe and lively aromas of blackberries, cassis, black pepper, oil-cured olives and herbes de Provence. Plump and peppery on the palate, the wine’s core of black fruits fuses with nuances of tarry earth, baker’s chocolate, lavender, mushrooms and black licorice. Supple, mouth-coating tannins segue the wine to its long peppery finish, which readies your palate for another forkful of ratatouille, grilled sourdough bread slathered with garlicky tapenade, grilled lamb rib chops, or roast pork shoulder. Enjoy this deliciously rustic and savory Corbieres now and over the coming three years.

2011 Chateau La Grolet, Cotes de Bourg, Bordeaux, France (B) 14.99/161.89

Biodynamic Bordeaux might seem like something of an oxymoron, but the Hubert family of Chateau La Grolet embraces this rigorous philosophy and labor-intensive practice for its unusually affordable red Bordeaux. The result is a splendidly authentic, vibrant and characterful Right Bank claret, and one that doesn’t require a second mortgage to lay a case in your cellar. A deep garnet color, the 2011 Grolet, a blend of 65% Merlot, 30% old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Malbec, casts brilliant aromas of plums, cassis, dried herbs, button mushrooms and gravelly soil. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, the wine bursts with currant, plum fruit accented by hints of cinnamon, cedar, leather and white pepper. Delicious and satisfying, this traditionally-crafted Bordeaux finishes with charmingly rustic tannins complicated by reprises of cedar, cinnamon and clay-and-gravel soil. Open this beauty ahead of serving to give it plenty of time to unfurl, then pair it with everything from burgers to rib roasts, pork chops, duck and grilled eggplant.

2011 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Nuits-Villages, Burgundy, France 23.99/259.09

From vines in four far northern and southern communes of the Cote de Nuits comes this opulently scented and seductively approachable red Burgundy. Brilliant garnet in color and bursting with classic red Burgundy aromas of cherries, red raspberries and leafy sous bois, Drouhin’s 2011 Cote de Nuits-Villages exemplifies the deft, elegant touch of Drouhin’s masterful winemaking. Soft and seductive on the attack, the wine delivers layers of complexity as it shifts from crunchy cranberry and pomegranate fruit to hints of button mushrooms and licorice to leafy suggestions of tobacco and underbrush, while bristling acidity lifts the fruit to delicious and food-friendly tanginess. The wine finishes long, clean and infused with a lashing of that inimitable Burgundian clay-limestone minerality. Fresh, complex and beguiling as only red Burgundy can be, this is a terrific value play for a fine Cote de Nuits and a superb choice now and over the coming seven years for roast chicken, broiled salmon, grilled pork loin and potatoes au gratin.


ITALY – RED

2012 Tre Monti, Campo di Mezzo, Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (S) 12.50/135.00

This is Sangiovese at its most straightforward, uncomplicated and delicious. The Tre Monti estate employs sustainable agriculture, biodynamic principles and minimal intervention to its impressive portfolio of indigenous and international varietals. Tre Monti’s superb Sangiovese Campo di Mezzo presents a traditional Sangiovese robe of dark ruby with a tinge of brown, offering inviting aromas of cloves, plums, wild cherries, violets and game. Supple and fruit-forward, the Campo di Mezzo begins with fresh, plump Sangiovese fruit, but quickly tightens mid-palate to present firm, food-friendly acidity and plentiful fine, framing tannins. Nuances of earthy mushrooms, leather, spicy cinnamon and dusty terroir segue the wine to its long, lip-smacking finish. This is the perfect choice for your summertime barbecues, or serve with hearty bean stews, fried zucchini blossoms, grilled hanger steaks and mushroom-focused pasta dishes.

2008 Chionetti, Dolcetto di Dogliani, San Luigi, Piedmont, Italy 17.99/194.29 Reg. 19.99

This is reference-standard Dolcetto. Founded in 1912, the Chionetti estate is one of Dogliani’s leading lights and a benchmark producer of terroir-driven Dolcetto. Now nearly six years old, Chionetti’s cru San Luigi Dolcetto is drinking perfectly. Sporting an opaque black ruby robe, the 2008 San Luigi offers aromas of sweet violets, black raspberries, Bing cherries and button mushrooms. Mature complexity and that sensation of fullness that comes only from patience define the San Luigi’s palate. Suggestions of nutmeg, pepper, licorice and underbrush fuse with a core of sour cherry fruit, fine, buffered tannins and bright acidity. Long, complex and truly fascinating, the wine finishes with a gorgeous coda of bitter almond skin. Endlessly food friendly, Chionetti’s San Luigi is ideally suited for Piemontese starters like carne cruda, tajarin, salumi, bagna cauda and vitello tonnato, but it will pair well with everything from simple potato dishes to pot roast. This is awesome Dolcetto.

2011 G.D. Vajra, Langhe Rosso, Piedmont, Italy (S) 13.99/ 151.09

Vajra’s Langhe Rosso, the venerable winery’s creative vintage-specific blend, has become a client favorite over the past few years. For its 2011 bottling, Vajra’s blend is primarily Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera, with a touch of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir. A translucent black-ruby color in the bowl yields to earthy aromas of red currants, strawberries, blood orange, Earl Gray tea and tar. Brisk and lively in the mouth, the wine shows a core of pie cherry, raspberry and currant fruit, before transitioning to a long, savory finish marked by notes of menthol, tobacco, sarsaparilla, mushroomy soil and a haunting suggestion of almond skin from the Dolcetto. The combination of dazzling aromas, fresh and lively red and black fruits and firm tannins will make Vajra’s Langhe Rosso a lovely choice at the table with pasta tossed with a butter and sage sauce, grilled burgers, salumi, beef, lamb, sausages, pizza – anything that calls for a robust, versatile red. Enjoy now and over the next five years.

2009 Castello di Farnetella, Chianti Colli Senesi, Riserva, Tuscany, Italy (O) 18.99/205.09 Reg. 23.99

Castello di Farnetella is the great Felsina estate’s property in Chianti’s Colli Senesi zone. Employing the same care that goes into Felsina’s reference-standard Chianti Classicos, Farnetella’s 2009 Riserva casts a brooding ruby color from the glass alongside a bouquet of cherries, licorice, vanilla bean and plums. Soft and velvety on the palate, the wine’s blend of primarily Sangiovese – with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – emphasizes the dominant Sangiovese component while offering delicious suggestions of ripe cherries, tobacco and camphor. The dollop of the noble Bordeaux varietals contribute plum, cassis and rich milk chocolate notes. A beguiling limestone soil expression emerges on the wine’s long licorice-tinged finish. This is delicious, ready-to-drink riserva-level Chianti at a sensible price. Pair now and over the coming five years with grilled steaks, eggplant parmigiana, pastas with rich meat sauces, hearty bean stews and grilled seasonal squashes.


WHITE WINES

FRANCE – WHITE

2011 Francois Cazin, Le Petite Chambord, Cour-Cheverny, Loire Valley, France 15.99/151.09

This is an amazingly complex wine that reveals yet another color in the endlessly intriguing and rewarding spectrum of Loire Valley wines. Francois Cazin, the master of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny, fashions dry and dessert-style Romorantins – a rare, historic heirloom grape varietal – of rare focus and complexity. Cazin’s 2011 Cour-Cheverny casts a brilliant green-glinted lemon gold color in the glass, followed by a bouquet of honeysuckle blossoms, gunpowder tea, coriander and flinty minerals. On the palate, the wine conveys notes of honeydew melon, breadfruit, linden and ginger before segueing to a long finish featuring suggestions of honeysuckle blossoms, lemon balm, 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 freshwater fish preparations.

2013 Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny, Loire Valley, France (S) 13.99/172.69

Domaine du Salvard’s 2013 Cheverny focuses on the pure smoky, grassy glory of its 85% Sauvignon Blanc core to yield a wine with a bright green-gold hue, a fresh, grassy bouquet, and a clean palate driven by gooseberry, grapefruit and lime notes. Bright, zesty and clear as a mountain stream, Salvard’s Cheverny finishes with spicy, aromatic tones of Thai basil, Serrano peppers, lemongrass, limestone minerality and spine-tingling acidity. Enjoy Salvard’s superb and affordable Cheverny with a broad range of lighter cuisines including fresh chevres, simple roasted pheasant, chicken, freshwater fish dishes and light pork preparations. Drink young, drink cool and drink often; enjoy over the next two years. This is perfect summertime wine!

2012 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Reserve, Burgundy, France 18.99/205.09

Maison Bouchard’s quality extends from its impressive grands crus to its humble, authentic and delicious regional wines. Burgundy insiders are especially thrilled by the 2012 vintage’s tiny-berried, small harvest white wines, as they show impressive intensity, clarity and effortlessly convey their underlying terroir. Bouchard’s 2012 Bourgogne Chardonnay bursts with classic white Burgundy soil notes of crushed oyster shells and clay. A brilliant straw-gold in the glass, the wine accents its unmistakable soil expression with aromas and palate impressions of lemon curd, fleshy pears, white flowers and Golden Delicious apple. Rich, full-bodied, yet soil driven, one can enjoy this offering in many contexts: as a lover of Burgundy looking for authentic character and value, or as a devoted Chardonnay fan who prefers the varietal’s crisp, minerally and citrus expressions. Enjoy this authentic white Burgundy now and over the next two years with delicate freshwater fish preparations, light pasta dishes with white sauces or a spinach and zucchini frittata.


HUNGARY – WHITE

2012 Pajzos Antaloczy Cellars, Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary 8.50/91.80

Here’s a delicious, fascinating wine that might be the must-try selection of this newsletter. Dry and off-dry Furmint wines from the world-famous Tokaji region in far north-eastern Hungary are causing ripples in the wine community. Pale lemon gold in the glass, Pajzos Antaloczy’s Furmint conveys exotic suggestions of clover honey, sweet coconut, pine resin, gardenia blossoms and lemon verbena. Fresh and weightless on the palate, the wine refreshes with lemon, apricot and melon fruit backed by riveting acidity and smoky barrel notes. On the wine’s long and fascinating finish, the Furmint transposes from its citrus fruit freshness to deep barrel-inflected suggestions of coconut husk, vanilla-scented creme brulee, resinous oak and flinty minerals. Pair now and over the coming three years with moderately assertive foods like Thai and Indian curries and, of course, the many expressions of delicious Hungarian goulash.


ITALY – WHITE

2013 Fattoria San Lorenzo Il Casolare, Marche Bianco IGT, Le Marche, Italy (B) 12.50/135.00

Il Casolare’s terrific Marche Bianco IGT, crafted from younger, biodynamically-farmed vines, is essentially a declassified Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOCG. For the consumer, this translates to an honest-to-goodness 100% Verdicchio for about half the price of a comparable DOCG wine. San Lorenzo’s Il Casolare casts a green-tinted lemon-gold color from the bowl, followed by lovely Verdicchio aromas of Meyer lemon, yellow peaches, white pepper, malt and green almonds. Fresh, spicy and peppery on the attack, the Il Casolare adds notes of Golden Delicious apples, green pineapple and dissolved saline minerals. The wine finishes brisk and fresh with reprises of juicy citrus fruits, white pepper, juniper and lip-dusting salty minerals. Clean, precise, and full of personality, enjoy this biodynamic value now and over the coming year by itself or with young cheeses, light pork preparations, freshwater fish dishes, seafood pastas, sauteed lentils, and recipes featuring asparagus, zucchini and summer squashes.

2013 Pieropan, Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy (O) 13.50/145.80

Every vintage it seems that Pieropan’s expression of Soave is the reference standard, and this beautiful 2013 might be their finest yet! Pieropan’s crisp, juicy and aromatic 2013 release is classic blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave grown exclusively on hillside estate vineyards in Soave’s superior Classico subzone. In the glass, Pieropan’s Soave projects a brilliant pale lemon-gold color followed by a cool, fresh, floral nose of gardenia blossoms, honeysuckle, jasmine and flinty minerals. On the palate, brisk, vibrant pear and lemon fruit notes vie with complex suggestions of sweet almonds, white peaches, sappy juniper and smoky volcanic minerals. The wine finishes brisk, long and satisfying. Pair this beauty now and over the next two years with shellfish, trout, halibut, sauteed green vegetables and seafood pastas.


SPAIN – WHITE

2013 Mokoroa, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

We’re always delighted to bring you top-quality Txakoli at affordable prices. Situated just outside of San Sebastian on the coast in the Urteta section of Zarautz, Mokoroa’s seventeen acres of Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza vines are planted in the famous Getariako Txakolina D.O. A shimmering pale lemon-gold color, Mokoroa’s Txakoli opens with aromas of green olives, lemon zest and saline minerals. Fresh, zippy and still sporting a dose of dissolved CO2, Mokoroa’s Txakoli revives the palate with suggestions of key lime juice, green apple skin, muskmelon and smoky minerals. Fresh, fruity and gripping, the wine finishes with layers of citrus zest, quinine, saline minerals and hints of ginger. A very distinctive, crisp and refreshing Txakoli – and a rare value for its denominación – this is a superb choice for midsummer refreshment. Partner with acidic vegetables (anyone for artichokes?), grilled asparagus, fresh and steamed shellfish, light squid tapas, ceviches, and delicate poached white-fleshed fish dishes.

 

ROSÉ WINES

FRANCE – ROSÉ

2013 Andre Dezat & Fils, Sancerre, Rose, Loire Valley, France 19.99/215.89

This is simply brilliant Sancerre rose and a rare value at less than $20 a bottle! Highly sought-after in Europe and the UK, we’re fortunate to be one of a select few markets in the U.S. for Dezat’s acclaimed wines. Dezat’s rose – fashioned from 100% Pinot Noir grown on Sancerre’s chalky soils – gleams from the glass with a brilliant orange-salmon robe followed by aromas of flinty minerals, earthy cranberries, Clementine oranges and sweet rose petals. On the palate, brisk acidity and ineffable chalky soil notes marry with crunchy raspberry, cranberry and nectarine fruit, followed by notes of rhubarb and pink peppercorns. Juicy, yet brimming with electric energy, the wine finishes clean, brisk and mouth-watering. Buy enough to get you through the coming year and enjoy this beauty by itself, or pair it with crab, ahi, sashimi, sauteed summer squashes, fresh chevres and beef tartare.

2013 Domaine de Fontsainte, Gris de Gris, (Rose), Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (S) 14.99/161.89

The Domaine de Fontsainte has been a staple of Kermit Lynch’s venerable portfolio for over thirty years. The domaine’s beloved rose is a fascinating melange of 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, blended with 10% each Carignan, Mourvedre and Cinsault grown on the clay, limestone and silica terroirs of the Corbieres region in the center of the Languedoc. Fontsainte’s 2013 rose shows a vivid copper-salmon color in the glass followed by a nose packed with aromas of rose petals, wild strawberries, pie cherries, fennel and dusty limestone minerals. On the palate, the wine opens with juicy cherry, currant and watermelon fruit complicated by suggestions of lavender, pepper, crisp fennel, spicy cinnamon and freshly pressed ginger root. Lip-smackingly delicious, Fontsainte’s 2013 Gris de Gris finishes with reprises of berry fruit, hints of orange peel and dried herbs backed by a palate dusting of stony minerals. Perfect for warm weather sipping, it will also work as a fine foil for ratatouille, grilled summer squashes, broiled salmon and roast quail. A staff favorite!

2013 Chateau Thivin, Rose, Beaujolais, France (S) 17.99/194.29

This is another winner from Chateau Thivin! Their extraordinary rose was a sensation when we featured it for the first time last summer. And now Mont Brouilly’s most famous estate is back – and better – with its just-released 2013 rendition. Thivin’s rose is 100% Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, pressed whole cluster and allowed to macerate for twenty-four hours. This gentle handling imbues the wine with a beautiful, peach-salmon robe. Fresh, zippy and inviting, Thivin’s rose casts a stony, soil-driven bouquet filled with notes of Rainier cherries, golden raspberries and pink rose petals. Fuller and more immediately appealing this year, Thivin’s 2013 rose conveys bright peach and watermelon fruit lifted effortlessly by zingy acidity and smoky minerals. The wine finishes clean, crisp and impelling you to take another sip or to take another bite of steelhead, salmon, barbeque chicken, pork, sauteed zucchini or yellow squash.

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

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

CLOSED: Friday, July 4
REOPEN: Sat., July 5


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

July 4 - We are closed for the Fourth of July

July 18 - It’s a Pinot Blanc Celebration! Pinot Blancs from Alsace, Oregon, Italy, Germany, and more!

Aug. 1 - A tasting of White Burgundies from Puligny Montrachet.


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

July 5 - From France: François Cazin Le Petite Chambord Cour-Cheverny, Dom. de Fontsainte Gris de Gris (Rosé), André Dezat Sancerre Rosé, Laurent Martray Côte de Brouilly Les Feuillées, Mas de Boislauzon La Chaussynette, Oinos Les Cardères Corbières, and Ch. La Grolet Côtes de Bourg.

July 12 - Tutti Italia! Pieropan Soave, Fattoria San Lorenzo Il Casolare Marche Bianco, Tre Monti Campo di Mezzo Sangiovese di Romagna, Chionetti Dolcetto di Dogliani San Luigi, G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso Piedmont, and Castello di Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva.

July 19 - From France: Ch. Thivin Beaujolais Rosé, Dom. du Salvard Cheverny, Bouchard Bourgogne Chardonnay, J. Drouhin Côte de Nuits-Villages, and Dom. La Tour Boisée Plantation 1905.

July 26 - Westrey Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Pajzos Antaloczy Cellars Furmint Tokaji, Mokoroa Getariako Txakolina. Plus: Our staff’s favorite sparkling wines!


Closings:
We will be closed Friday, July 4. Re-open on Saturday, July 5.

 

 


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.