MAY 2015 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

 

OREGON - RED

2013 Ayres Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Perspective, Ribbon Ridge, Oregon 26.99/291.49

Ayres’ 2013 Perspective is a gloriously silky, seductive, layered Pinot of rare breed and class. A lovely crimson ruby hue in the glass, Ayres’ Ribbon Ridge blend casts aromas of loganberries, cranberries, vanilla bean, violets and perfumed, loamy earth. Fleshy and spicy on the palate, red raspberry and black cherry fruit notes join with complex suggestions of sandalwood, caramel, and underbrush lifted by juicy acidity. Crunchy cranberry notes segue the wine’s palate to a long, layered finish that reprises waves of red and black berry fruits and smoky earth framed by fine tannins and a whisper of French oak. This is a lovely, graceful example of Ribbon Ridge Pinot to be enjoyed over the next several years with grilled salmon, roast chicken, pan-seared pork chops, boudin blanc and hearty vegetarian fare featuring morel mushrooms.

FRANCE - RED

2013 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Burgundy, France 19.99/215.89

Bouchard Pere & Fils has crafted a sensational wine and a superb value in this authentically textured and scented red Burgundy. Based on fruit from the renowned Cote-de-Beaune villages of Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune, Savigny-les-Beaune, Santenay and Maranges, Bouchard has fashioned a deliciously accessible, smoky and meaty expression of red Burgundy. A bright, translucent red rose-tinted ruby color, Bouchard’s Reserve casts a dazzling bouquet of wild cherries, red currants, game and smoky earth. Bright and lively on the palate, the wine’s tangy core of red fruits mingles with complex suggestions of spicy cinnamon, blood oranges, wood spice, menthol and dusty limestone minerals. Persistent far beyond its modest price tag, the wine finishes sappy and pure with complex meaty, gamy notes, mouthwatering tannins and vibrant acidity. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with pork terrines, game birds, roast chicken, sweetbreads and gratin dauphinois.

2012 Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres, Vieilles Vignes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 17.99/194.29

Faugeres is a cool, high-altitude appellation in the Languedoc. The wines find a happy middle ground between the rusticity of Corbieres and the typically fruit-forward reds of the Cotes du Rhone. One of Faugeres’ leading lights, the Vidal family’s Chateau de la Liquiere, employs 50- to 100-year old Carignan vines (40%), Grenache (40%), Syrah and Mourvedre grown on rocky schistose soils in the steeply-sloped northwest sector of the appellation. Opaque black plum in the glass, la Liquiere’s Vieilles Vignes cuvee bursts with aromas of blackberries, blueberries, licorice, juniper and herbal garrigue. Intense on the attack, the wine’s dense, chewy core of black plum and blackberry fruit is complemented by a fine, lip-dusting tannins and complex suggestions of bitter herbs, tar, cured meat, leather and button mushrooms. Dense and chewy, yet vibrant on the palate, this Southern French beauty should be paired now and over the coming decade with only the heartiest of fare: braised hare, game, squab, grilled lamb, mature cheeses and wild boar.

2012 Domaine de la Guicharde, Cotes du Rhone, Southern Rhone Valley, France (CO) 11.50/124.20

Domaine de la Guicharde’s 2012 Cotes du Rhone soars with sunny Southern French aromas of Provencal cherries, garrigue, cinnamon stick and black licorice. Guicharde’s superb rouge is a classic blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah co-fermented on indigenous yeasts. Casting an opaque purple-ruby robe, on the palate notes of juniper-driven garrigue, sweet tobacco, star anise and menthol join the wine’s vibrant core of cherry and red currant inflected Grenache fruit. Chewy old-school tannins appear on the back-palate and segue the wine to its long cherry and garrigue-driven finish. Truly one of the great values in authentic Cotes du Rhone, we suggest picking up a case to enjoy now and over the next five years with grilled eggplant, lamb and beef stews, burgers and anything scented with rosemary, garlic or anchovies.

2010 Chateau Flotis, Fronton, Si Noire, Southwestern France (CO) 13.50/145.80

Situated just north of Toulouse, Fronton is one of France’s oldest winegrowing regions. Fronton’s secret ingredient is the Negrette grape, indigenous to Cyprus, but most at home on the iron-rich quartz and gravel soils prevalent in this forgotten corner of France. Crafted from 100% Negrette, Chateau Flotis’ Si Noire casts an opaque black plum color followed by a delicious bouquet of violets, blueberries, black cherries, cured meats, tamari and ferrous earth. Wild and feral on the palate, Flotis’ Si Noire explodes on the palate with notes of wild game, tar, black pepper, baker’s chocolate, and a huge dollop of that good ol’ French funk. Uncompromisingly original and 100% soil-driven, the wine finishes with utterly unique expressions of violets, mushrooms, hoisin sauce, tar, dry aged meat, and ferrous earth. Enjoy this with hearty sausages, charcuterie, lentils, cassoulet, duck confit and roast squab. Unique, distinctive, this is a mind-bending wine that’s a “must try” selection!

ITALY - RED

2013 Odino Vaona, Valpolicella, Classico, Veneto, Italy 11.99/129.49

Vaona’s light framed, elegant and gorgeously perfumed Valpolicella represents one of the most deliciously drinkable and incredibly versatile wines at your table. A classic blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara from Valpolicella’s historic Classico zone, Vaona’s 2013 Valpo casts with a bright ruby hue followed by aromas of sweet cherries, freshly crushed raspberries, black tea and rose petals. Snappy and zesty on the palate, the wine delights with a bright kernel of juicy pomegranate fruit complemented by suggestions of white pepper, blood orange, and limestone minerals. Long, lingering and elegant on the finish, the Vaona’s brilliant red fruit, light lip-dusting tannins, and refreshing limestone soil expressions make it both a joy to drink by itself and also a natural partner for light pasta dishes, semi-firm cheeses, lasagna with a bechamel sauce, and delicate poultry recipes. Yet another smashing success from Vaona!

2010 Giovanni Battista d’Orsi, Chianti Classico, Casaloste, Tuscany, Italy (O) 15.99/176.29 Reg. 18.99

From the superb 2010 Tuscan vintage, we present an affordable, organically grown Chianti Classico from Panzano, in the heart of the denominazione, that satisfies on all levels. A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, Casaloste’s 2010 Chianti Classico casts an opaque black-ruby robe followed by ripe, welcoming aromas of macerated cherries, violets, saddle leather and leafy underbrush. Brisk and invigorating on the palate, the wine’s kernel of sappy cherry fruit meets with chewy, old-school Sangiovese tannins, subtle hints of oak, and complex suggestions of dried herbs, tar, leather and eucalyptus. Gripping tannins and limestone dust join the wine’s delicious, restrained red fruit expression and make it a lovely foil for eggplant parmigiana, white lasagne, grilled porterhouse steak, pizza, pork rib chops and juicy burgers hot off the grill. Enjoy this honest-to-goodness Chianti now and over the coming five years.

2013 Rainoldi, Rosso di Valtellina, Lombardy, Italy (S) 13.99/151.09

The Valtellina is located in the far north of Lombardia, Italy’s province just to the east of Piedmont. As in Piedmont, the Nebbiolo grape is king in Lombardia and the sole constituent of the terrific Rosso from Valtellina’s leading Rainoldi estate. A translucent black cherry color in the bowl, Rainoldi’s 2013 Rosso casts perfumed scents of dried rose petals, freshly crushed cherries, orange zest and tarry earth. Snappy and transparent on the palate, Rainoldi’s Rosso beguiles with pomegranate fruit accented by floral top notes of rose and violet, followed by structured Nebbiolo tannins. Thoroughly terroir driven and boasting a brilliant, coiled kernel of crunchy red fruit, Rainoldi’s Rosso finishes long, vibrant and lip-smackingly delicious. Versatile and delicious, this rosso begs to be paired with rich, hearty fare like beef stew, porcini mushroom risotto and the Valtellina’s classic buckwheat-based pizzoccheri pasta dish.

2011 Tintero, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy (S) 19.99/215.89

The Piedmont’s great Tintero estate crafts this delicious, authentic, approachable Barbaresco from a tiny parcel in Barbaresco’s famed Treiso zone. A gleaming garnet core with Nebbiolo’s classic amber rim, Tintero’s 2011 Barbaresco exudes class with a bouquet filled with aromas of sweet cherries, red licorice, menthol and aniseed. Extended aeration allows the young Barbaresco to reveal a gorgeous core of cherry and red plum fruit backed by firm, framing tannins and complex notes of rose petals, limestone soil, camphor and fennel. Floral notes of violet, rose and cherry blossoms mark the wine’s long lingering finish. Still coiled and structured, Tintero’s Barbaresco needs a long, vigorous decant to reveal all its latent charms. Pair this authentic and incredibly affordable Barbaresco now and over the coming fifteen years with hearty Piemontese fare like creamy risottos, egg-rich tajarin topped with shaved truffles, braised game, rack of lamb and hearty beef stews.

SPAIN - RED

2011 Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Ribera del Duero, Crianza, Spain (S) 19.99/215.89

Ismael Arroyo is one of the founding fathers and leading lights of the Ribera del Duero denominación in northern Spain. Arroyo’s Val Sotillo Crianza hails from 100% old-vine Tinto del Pais (Tempranillo) grown near the town of Sotillo del Duero and aged for fourteen months in American oak barrels. Opaque plum-ruby in the glass, the Val Sotillo Crianza opens with deep aromas of black cherries, cassis, tobacco and vanilla. Lush and velvety on the fore-palate, the wine soon tightens with plentiful, chewy tannins, layers of plum and cherry fruit and sexy barrel notes of smoke, vanilla, coconut and toffee. Long and lingering, the wine finishes with reprises of bright cherry fruit accented by traditional Ribera barrel notes. The wine’s structure begs that you give this youngster a long decant before serving with hearty fare like roast leg of lamb, pork shoulder roast, potato tapas, grilled sausages and sauteed mushrooms. Enjoy now and over the coming decade.

WHITE WINES

AUSTRIA - WHITE

2013 Weingut Stift Gottweig, Gruner Veltliner, Messwein, Niederosterreich, Austria 16.99/183.49

Founded in 1083, the Stift Gottweig is a Benedictine monastery perched 450 meters above sea level on the southern banks of the Danube. The uber-talented Fritz Miesbauer recently assumed direction of the monastery’s wine interests and has raised the bar to new heights. This is the estate’s Messwein – or altar wine – produced only with the blessing of the bishop and crafted to be pure, light and drinkable. It bursts out of the glass with high-toned Gruner aromas of lemon zest, white pepper and salty minerals. On the palate, the Messwein is crisp, tactile, minerally and super refreshing. The wine’s core of citrus fruits reemerges on its finish alongside notes of malt, snap peas, ginger and white pepper. Folks, this Gruner is so clean, pure, and refreshing – and such a steal for its quality. Pair it now and over the coming two years with lentil soups, light freshwater fish preparations, shellfish, and all green vegetables, even artichokes and asparagus. Sensational wine!

FRANCE - WHITE

2013 Moulin de Gassac, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc, France (O) 15.99/172.69

The Moulin de Gassac is the side project of the Languedoc’s storied Mas de Daumas Gassac estate. Employing exclusively organic fruit from carefully selected sources, the Moulin has fashioned a superb Picpoul that lives up to its reputation as the Muscadet of the South. A bright lemon-gold in the glass, the Moulin’s Picpoul casts smoky, briny lemon aromas followed by crisp suggestions of Meyer lemon, fennel and green pear. Textured like a fine Chablis, the wine juxtaposes fresh citrus fruits with a juicy palate presence buoyed by superb acidity. Long and layered way beyond its price tag, the Moulin de Gassac’s Picpoul sets a new benchmark for the genre and will be a lovely foil now and over the coming year for with delicate white-fleshed fish dishes, grilled and sauteed zucchini, calamari, periwinkles and oysters.

2014 Chateau Magneau, Graves, Blanc, Bordeaux, France (S) 13.99/151.09

Chateau Magneau is an ancient property that has been run by the Ardurat family since before the reign of Henri IV. Planted on the deep gravelly soils that give the appellation its name, Magneau’s Graves blanc – crafted from 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle – bursts out of the glass with a lovely pale lemon-gold color and classic Graves blanc aromas of beeswax, basil and quinine. Crisp and super refreshing on the palate, the Magneau blanc conveys a kernel of energetic lime and grapefruit accented by notes of muskmelon, gravelly soil, ginger and freshly cut grass. The Magneau finishes clean and citric with further notes of white grapefruit, key lime, lemon, chervil, basil and freshly grated ginger. Folks, this is dynamite white Bordeaux that delivers both complexity and refreshment at a paltry price. Enjoy with gusto over the coming two years, served with fresh chevres, freshwater fish dishes, oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels, lightly-dressed green salads and white asparagus.

2013 Domaine des Forges, Chardonnay, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, Loire Valley, France 9.50/102.60

Here’s the Chardonnay that even the most ardent Loire Valley geeks love! Chardonnay is permitted in the Anjou only as a minor blending varietal, which is why this wine must depict the humble Vin de Pays designation. Brilliant lemon-gold in the glass, Domaine des Forges’ Chardonnay is fragrant with white flowers, fresh lemon juice and the assertive schistose minerality one often finds in the finest Savennieres. On the palate, the wine is bone dry and incisive – think of it as a Chablis grown on schist. Year after year, we love this wine for its idiosyncratic nature, its intense mineral undercurrent, and its utter uniqueness. In the great 2013 Loire Valley vintage, it absolutely sings! Serve this beauty over the coming twelve months as a superb compliment to oysters, scallops, mussels, sole, trout, sauteed green leafy vegetables and mild cheeses.

ITALY - WHITE

2013 Sella & Mosca, Vermentino di Sardegna, La Cala, Sardinia, Italy 11.50/124.20

Sella & Mosca is Sardinia’s leading and most progressive estate. The domaine’s La Cala Vermentino is named for a small, secluded cove fringed by violet-colored thistles on the edge of the Sella & Mosca estate. You can almost smell the thistles and the salty sea air in this crisp seafood friendly southern bianco. A green-glinted straw color in the glass, Sella & Mosca’s La Cala casts aromas of briny sea mist, wet straw, Mirabelle plum and muskmelon. Crisp on the attack but full in the mouth, the Vermentino adds suggestions of grapefruit pith, key lime, honeydew melon and granitic soil. Sella & Mosca’s La Cala finishes fresh, zesty, juicy and with a salty, minerally tactile grip. It begs to be paired with seafood of all shapes and sizes. We especially suggest enjoying this wine young and cool, served beside a whole roasted branzino, zuppa di pesce, calamari, shellfish paella, grilled swordfish, or prawns sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

SPAIN - WHITE

2014 Arregi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

Portland’s first and most beloved Txakoli, Arregi, hails from the easternmost outpost of Txakoli called Getariako Txakolina. Pale green-tinted lemon-gold in color, Arregi’s 2014 Txakoli offers salty, sea breeze-driven aromas of lime oil, green papaya and honeydew melon. Fresh and still sporting a vivacious dose of dissolved CO2, the Arregi’s lively, exuberant fruit expression suggests lime zest, green plums and crisp Bosc pears. Brisk and saline on the finish, the wine adds notes of white grapefruit, Meyer lemon and fresh tarragon. Showing enough bristling acidity to handle the most wine-challenging vegetables, even asparagus and green beans, Arregi’s Txakoli is a perfect fit for vegetable lovers and vegetarians who seek a vinous complement for their spring and summer market vegetables Enjoy during this spring and summer to capture its youthful vigor.

2013 Vina Almirante, Albarino, Pionero Maccerato, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain (S) 13.99/151.09

Vina Almirante’s Pionero Maccerato Albarino is an intense, bracing, minerally Albarino with tons of character and complexity for its modest price tag. The wine opens with a bright lemon-gold color accented by lime green glints and a dazzling bouquet of yellow apples, apricots, sweet cinnamon and orange blossom water. On the palate, the Pionero Maccerato Albarino is fresh, snappy and bursting with suggestions of preserved oranges, mango, papaya, and saline minerals. As the Albarino transitions to its back-palate, bracing acidity lifts the wine’s fruit expression and amplifies its mineral expression. The Pionero Maccerato’s finish reprises the complexity of the wine’s aromas, offering a brisk, tactile mineral presence buried inside a kaleidoscope of fresh citrus, orchard and tropical fruit notes. Pair over the coming year with calamari, scallops, oysters or Dungeness crab, or enjoy all on its own as a refreshing aperitif.

2012 Celler del Roure, Cullerot, Valencia, Spain (S) 15.99/172.69

The Celler del Roure is the brainchild of Pablo Calatayud, who employs ancient terracotta amphorae buried in the earth to craft this wine. A blend of 30% each Verdil, Chardonnay and Pedro Ximenez, with a touch of Malvasia – all fermented on indigenous yeasts – the Celler del Roure’s Cullerot (tadpole, in local dialect) shines from the glass with a light straw-gold color and delicious aromas of tangerine, white grapefruit and orchard blossoms. Full yet precise on the palate, the Cullerot expresses further suggestions of lemon zest, green apples and freshly cut fennel. High toned from the natural yeast fermentation, the wine segues to a long, lingering finish featuring notes of menthol, straw, Pippin apples and saline minerals. So many great wines are popping up from remote corners of Spain: be sure to discover this wonder and pair it over the coming three years with escargots, boquerones, tortilla Espanola and roasted poultry dishes.

ROSÉ WINES

FRANCE - ROSÉ

2014 Domaine de Fontsainte, Corbieres, Gris de Gris (Rose), Languedoc-Roussillon, France (S) 15.99/172.69

The impeccable wines of the Domaine de Fontsainte have been staples of Kermit Lynch’s venerable portfolio for over thirty years. The domaine’s beloved rose is a fascinating melange of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, and Mourvedre and Cinsault, all grown on the stone-strewn clay, limestone and silica terroirs of the Corbieres region in the center of the Languedoc. Fontsainte’s 2014 rose shows a vivid pink watermelon color in the glass followed by aromas of red currants, rose petals, white pepper and dried herbs. On the palate, the Gris de Gris opens with juicy cherry, currant and strawberry fruit complicated by suggestions of lavender, anise, spicy cinnamon and blood orange zest. Dry, tactile and gripping, Fontsainte’s 2014 Gris de Gris finishes with reprises of berry fruit, hints of orange peel and bitter 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 squashes, broiled salmon and roast quail.
A Kermit Lynch selection

2014 Chateau Sainte Marguerite, Cotes de Provence Rose, L’Esprit de Sainte Marguerite, Provence, France (O) 18.99/205.09

The L’Esprit de Sainte Marguerite defines why the Cotes de Provence is home to the many of the world’s finest roses. Nestled within a small pine forest and facing the Mediterranean Sea, the Fayard family’s Chateau Sainte Marguerite is a hidden sanctuary in the terroir of La Londe les Maures, among the finest in the Cotes de Provence. Offering the palest, almost white, salmon color, the L’Esprit de Sainte Marguerite’s classic blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 25% Syrah boasts sappy herbal aromas and a fresh palate of golden raspberries, Meyer lemon, crisp fennel, cherry blossoms and mint. Brisk and bracingly dry on the palate, notes of menthol, raspberries and gooseberries segue to a clean, dusty finish that fuses citrus and crisp berry fruit with savory notes of herbes de Provence. Pair this lovely dry rose now and over the coming year with broiled salmon, light pasta dishes, swordfish, steelhead and zucchini fritters.


LINER & ELSEN

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Portland, OR 97210
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STORE HOURS:
Mon.-Sat. 10am - 6pm

Closed: Monday, May 25
for Memorial Day


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

MAY 1
-
Cruising down the Loire River to Savennières: Savor their great Chenin Blancs.

MAY 15
- Zins and more Zins: Turley, Joseph Swan, Ridge, and more!

JUNE 5
-
Celebrate June! Time for our summer Champagne festival.



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

Weekly; Starts at
12 noon - No fee

MAY 2
- Superb wines from France: Ch. Sainte Marguerite Côtes de Provence Rose, Ch. Magneau Graves Blanc, Dom. des Forges Chardonnay, Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir Réserve, and Ch. de la Liquière Faugères V.V.

MAY 9
- Wines from Italy: Sella & Mosca Vermentino di Sardegna, Rainoldi Rosso di Valtellina, Tintero Barbaresco, Vaona Valpolicella Classico, and Casaloste Chianti Classico.

MAY 16
- Wines from Spain: Arregi Getariako Txakolina, Viña Almirante Pionero Maccerato Albariño, Celler del Roure Cullerot, and Ismael Arroyo Val Sotillo Crianza.
- Plus: “The Piedmont Guy,” Cameron Abbot, will delight you with a selection of great wines from the Piedmont.

MAY 23
-
Selections from France: Dom. de Fontsainte Gris de Gris Rosé, Moulin de Gassac Picpoul de Pinet, Dom. de la Guicharde Côtes du Rhône, and Ch. Flotis Si Noire.
- Plus: Ayres Perspective Pinot Noir, and Weingut Stift Göttweig Grüner Veltliner.

MAY 30
-
May is Oregon Wine Month! Let’s celebrate with a tasting of delightful newly-released Oregon wines.

 


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.