JANUARY 2015 NEWSLETTER


RED WINES

OREGON - RED

2013 Ken Wright Cellars, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 23.99/259.09

Ken Wright is an Oregon winemaking legend. Since his debut Pinot Noir in the 1986 vintage, Ken has fashioned some of Oregon’s most immediately appealing and sought-after Pinots. The winery’s newly-released Willamette Valley blend conveys the beauty and balance of the 2013 harvest. A brilliant transparent garnet in the glass, the wine casts aromas of freshly crushed red raspberries, cherries, game and wood spice. Crisp and delicate on the palate, fresh red berry fruit marries with hints of cinnamon bark and rose petals. Loamy earth, smoke and menthol notes accent further waves of raspberry, cranberry and red cherry fruit on the wine’s delicious, savory finish. Here’s a superb Oregon Pinot to enjoy now with broiled salmon, roast pork, chanterelle ragoûts and all things poultry.

FRANCE - RED

2011 Burle, Vacqueyras, Southern Rhone Valley, France 17.99/194.29

As Portland wine lovers know, Burle’s portfolio of lusty Southern Rhone reds offers so much character, boldness and authenticity for their amazingly modest tariffs. Burle’s newly-arrived 2011 Vacqueyras opens with a dense black-plum color and a bouquet filled with notes of licorice, kirsch, dark roasted coffee beans, pepper and dried herbs. On the palate the wine transitions to a saturated kernel of blackberry and black cherry fruit framed by chewy old-school tannins and herbal overtones of eucalyptus, black pepper and juniper. Tarry fruit, black licorice, menthol and cloves mark the wine’s long, palate-staining finish. Enjoy this reference-standard Vacqueyras now or over the coming ten years with roast leg of lamb, ratatouille, and recipes favoring rosemary and fresh garlic.

2013 Domaine Alain Dumarcher, Vent du Sud, Cotes du Vivarais, Rhone Valley, France (S) 11.99/129.49

Frequent medalist in the Concours des Vins de la Vallee du Rhone Piolenc and perennial favorite of both the Guide Hachette and Gault Millau, Alain Dumarcher blends the great Grenache grape of the Southern Rhone (60%) with the noble Syrah of the Northern Rhone (40%). Translucent ruby in the glass, the wine’s Syrah component dominates with notes of meat, game, violets and wintergreen. Spicy and fleshy on the palate, the Grenache’s kirsch notes fuse with the gamy, tarry and floral notes from the Syrah. Hints of chocolate, leather, tobacco and licorice appear on the wine’s long, savory finish. Rhone Valley fans, this must-try selection simultaneously satisfies both the need for a meaty Crozes-Hermitage and a chewy, rustic Gigondas. Pair now and over the coming three years with game, duck ratatouille and all things lamb.

2005 Chateau Bernadotte, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France 30.99/334.69

Chateau Bernadotte is truly one of the great values in top-caliber cru bourgeois Bordeaux. The chateau is owned and run by the super-second growth Pichon-Lalande, which made substantial investments to bring Bernadotte up to its incomparable standards. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (49%), Merlot (48%) and Cabernet Franc, Bernadotte’s superb 2005 jumps out of the glass with a deep ruby robe and a classic claret bouquet of red currants, cedar, plums and vanilla bean. The wine graces the palate with plush raspberry and cassis fruit accented by fine, buffered tannins, gravelly minerals and wood spice. Long and fresh on the finish, the Bernadotte lingers with waves of cassis fruit, spicy oak and a persistent gravel-and-clay soil signature. A testament to the greatness of the 2005 Medoc vintage, this is a gorgeous, thoroughly satisfying red Bordeaux and a steal for its tariff. It’s approachable now, and will easily reward another decade’s aging in your cool cellar. Pair with rib roasts of beef, roast lamb and vegetarian recipes featuring mushroom duxelles.

2012 Chateau St. Didier-Parnac, Cahors, Southwest France 15.99/172.69

Often considered the pinnacle of Southwestern French reds, the wines of the hallowed Cahors appellation were historically considered a rival to the wines of Bordeaux. Chateau St. Didier-Parnac’s 2012 Cahors – a blend of Malbec (80%), Merlot (15%) and Tannat – is a delicious and unusually approachable Cahors of exceptional depth and character. From the glass the wine casts an opaque plum-ruby color and blossoms with meaty Bordeaux-like aromas of cassis, black raspberries, tobacco and loamy earth. On the palate the Malbec takes center stage with complex suggestions of tar, black pepper and plentiful fine tannins. Impressively rich and packed with a chewy core of plum and currant fruit, the wine deftly balances old-school Cahors structure and earthiness with a fresh, fruit-forward personality. This is gorgeous Cahors and a superb value. Enjoy now and over the next three decades with roast goose, grilled ribeye steaks, braised short ribs, rich eggplant casseroles and potatoes au gratin.

ITALY - RED

2012 Mannucci Droandi, Chianti Colli Aretini, Tuscany, Italy (CO) 12.50/135.00

The Mannucci Droandi estate is renowned for its cultivation of nearly extinct, indigenous Tuscan varietals. Mannucci Droandi’s 2012 Chianti Colli Aretini, a blend of Sangiovese (90%), Canaiolo (5%) and a blend of ancient Tuscan varietals, projects a translucent ruby robe and bright aromas of Bing cherries, cinnamon stick and blonde leather. Ripe and savory on the palate, the wine balances its chewy core of cherry and dried plum fruit with lifting acidity and food-friendly tannins. On the finish, hints of mushrooms, leather, bay leaf and bitter chocolate join the wine’s persistent waves of cinnamon-tinged cherry fruit. This is lovely Chianti that drinks well now with heartier fare like grilled Portobello mushrooms, roast game, pork and beef, and will repay three to five year’s aging in your cool cellar.

2009 Ca del Fongo, Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Ripasso, Veneto, Italy 13.99/151.09

Ripasso is the technique of allowing a Valpolicella wine to re-ferment on the spent lees and pomace of a winery’s Amarone, a process that adds weight, depth, structure and richness to the finished wine. Casting a translucent crimson garnet hue from the glass, Ca del Fongo’s 2009 Ripasso opens with an elegant bouquet of black plums, dried cherries, blond tobacco and aniseed. Chewy and complex, the wine reveals an impressive core of macerated cherries, red licorice, cool menthol and hints of leafy underbrush. Deeply flavored yet impressively deft on the palate, Ca del Fongo’s Ripasso finishes long and satisfying with fine tannins emerging amidst complex notes of sweet tobacco, dried rose petals and baking spices. We suggest pairing this wine of impressive depth and complexity with simple, satisfying foods like braised rabbit, roast duck, daubes of pork, or zucchini casseroles. Extraordinarily versatile, the wine will also pair well with mature hard cheeses. Drink now or over the next ten years. You won’t find a better Ripasso at this price!

2012 Cavallotto, Dolcetto d’Alba, Vigna Scot, Piedmont, Italy (O) 17.99/194.29

Cavallotto’s single vineyard Dolcetto Vigna Scot hails from 30-year-old vines from the same hill that their great Bricco Boschis Barolo is grown. A translucent ruby color in the glass, Cavallotto’s Vigna Scot casts textbook Dolcetto aromas of black raspberries, red currants and musky earth. On the palate the Dolcetto frames bright bitter cherry fruit with fine tannins and complex suggestions of menthol, leather and black pepper. Fresh, firmly tannic and uncomplicated by oak, the wine offers structure and complexity thanks to the old vines and the superiority of the vineyard site. The Piedmont purists among you will enjoy this lip-smackingly delicious Dolcetto now and over the coming five years, served with Piemontese primi and antipasti like carne cruda, risotto, vegetable flans, pates and mushroom dishes. It will also prove delicious with everyday fare like pizzas, burgers, casseroles and pan-seared pork chops.

2011 Vallana, Spanna, Colline Novaresi, Piedmont, Italy 15.99/172.69

Long, zesty and brimming with character, this is a superb and unusually affordable expression of Northern Piedmont Nebbiolo. Renowned for intense, characterful, long lived wines from the Alto Piemonte, Vallana’s Spanna is vinified in cement and aged six months in large oak casks. A beautiful black-ruby color in the glass leads to a brooding nose of meaty black cherries, violets, wintergreen, dried orange peel and white pepper. Fleshy cherry fruit on the palate is followed by plentiful, fine-grained tannins, juicy acidity and complex notes of cloves, cinnamon, tobacco and ferrous soils. Pair this beauty with both classic, hearty Piemontese cuisine and with everyday fare such as pizza, pasta, burgers and pork chops.

2005 Bellaria, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy | 17.99/194.29

Here’s a “baby” Brunello of impressive depth and character. A classic Brunello cherry core gradates to an orange-umber rim followed by aromas of black tea, rose petals, game and dusty earth. Suave and lush on the attack, Bellaria’s 2005 Rosso follows through on the palate with notes of pomegranate, pencil lead, tobacco and menthol. Sneaky Sangiovese tannins segue the wine to a long, soil-inflected finish featuring notes of dried rose petals, bitter oranges and Assam black tea leaves. This lovely Rosso deserves to be treated like a true Brunello, except that it’s delicious now and ready to be enjoyed alongside grilled Porterhouse steaks, braised rabbit, salumi, mushroom pasta dishes and hearty bean stews.

SPAIN - RED

2010 C.V.N.E. Vina Real, Crianza, Rioja, Spain 15.99/172.69

One of the most venerable and heralded estates in the Rioja, Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana specializes in wines grown in the heart of Rioja’s superior Alavesa zone. C.V.N.E.’s 2010 Crianza, a brilliant, classic Rioja blend of Tempranillo (90%) and a melange of Mazuelo, Graciano and Garnacha Tinto, presents an translucent plum-ruby robe and dark, brooding aromas of Morello cherries, black raspberries, menthol and wood smoke. Vibrant and spicy on the palate, the Crianza’s saturated kernel of dark cherry fruit is buoyed by brisk acidity, tangy tannins, and complex suggestions of cloves, black pepper, cigar tobacco, menthol and dusty earth. A complex cedar note and subtle Rioja barrel notes of vanilla and dark roasted coffee transition the Crianza to its long, black-fruited finish. This is a deep, intense and complex Rioja Crianza that is best paired with hearty fare like tapas of meat, eggplant and potato, roast duck and lamb, braised rabbit and grilled burgers.
The Wine Advocate – 91 points


WHITE WINES

FRANCE - WHITE

2012 Daniel Vergnes, Les Pentes de Barene, Tursan, Southwest France 13.50/145.80

This is a great new discovery and a must-try wine this month. The rare Tursan AOC is found in far southwestern France near Madiran, only 45 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. For his Les Pentes de Barene bottling, Daniel Vergnes blends the indigenous Baroque (45%), Gros Manseng (30%) and Petit Manseng (10%) with the noble Sauvignon Blanc (15%). Opening with a limpid golden color, the Pentes de Barene casts aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit, wildflowers and smoky minerals. Crisp and zesty on the palate, the wine offers suggestions of basil, white grapefruit, guava and chalky minerals. With impressive energy and tactile grip, the wine finishes clean and focused as fresh citrus fruits mingle with suggestions of juniper and Belgian endive. Enjoy now and over the coming year with shellfish, green salads, goat cheeses and mild white-fleshed fish preparations.

2012 Henri Schoenheitz, Pinot Blanc, Val Saint Gregoire, Alsace, France (S) 15.99/172.69

The husband-and-wife team of Henri and Dominique Schoenheitz farm steep slopes in Alsace’s Munster Valley – historically known as the Val Saint Gregoire. Sourced from venerable Pinot Blanc vines grown on mica-rich granite soil, Schoenheitz’s Pinot Blanc shines with a pale gold hue in the glass followed by delicate aromas of white peaches, tangerines, white meadow flowers and soft minerals. Off dry on the palate, the Schoenheitz Pinot Blanc adds notes of smoke, bay leaf, preserved lemon and sweet butter before finishing long and juicy with a mountain freshness that could only come from Alsace. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming three years with soft cheeses, fondues, tartiflette, quiches and choucroute garni.

2012 Domaine de Chene-Colombe, Macon Villages, Burgundy, France 12.99/140.29

This is authentic, taut, soil-driven white Burgundy – just as we like ‘em! The Domaine de Chene-Colombe is a 7.5-acre family estate located in the northernmost part of the Macon region. Casting a brilliant gold color in the glass, Chene-Colombe’s Macon-Villages presents a mineral-driven bouquet of lemon curd, tart apple and sappy hazelnuts. Fresh and bristling with zippy acidity, the wine fleshes out mid-palate to reveal notes of beeswax, lemon zest and calcareous minerals. Graceful, long and refreshing, the Chene-Colombe finishes with additional notes of sweet cinnamon, hawthorn blossoms and limestone minerals. Grab a case for enjoyment over the coming three years, and enjoy with roast pheasant, prawns, light pates and trout amandine.

2012 Domaine Demeure-Pinet, Jacquere, Vin des Allobroges, IGP, Savoie, France (S) | 9.50/102.60

A perennial medal winner at the prestigious Concours General Agricole de Paris and mainstay in the Guide Hachette, Domaine Demeure-Pinet’s Jacquere is benchmark for the region and a steal for the quality and deliciousness in the bottle. The 2012 Jacquere casts a pale lemon-gold color and suggestions of wet limestone, grapefruit pith and white flowers. Crisp and zesty on the palate, the wine shows impressive flesh for a Jacquere while retaining electric acidity and Alpine refreshment. Clean and crisp, the wine finishes with further waves of chalky limestone minerals, white flowers and citrus pith. Enjoy now and over the coming year as a perfect aperitif or served with freshwater fish preparations, sauteed vegetables, fresh chevres and hors d’oeuvres.

ITALY - WHITE

2013 Pievalta, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Superiore, Marches, Italy (B) 16.99/183.49

The Pievalta’s impressive clarity, vibrant fruit and earthy soil notes make this one of the most refreshing and complex Verdicchios in recent memory. The Pievalta estate practices biodynamic viticulture on vines grown in the Verdicchio’s finest growing zone. The estate’s classically styled 2013 Verdicchio casts a pale green-gold color and a touch of dissolved CO2 from the bowl, followed by appetizing aromas of green melon, lentils, smoky minerals and marjoram. Showing the appetizing briskness of the 2013 vintage, the wine’s minerality lifts a zesty core of key lime and Bosc pear fruit. Earthy lentil notes return on the wine’s long, vibrant finish. Enjoy now and over the next two years with clams, mussels, baby squid, grilled green vegetables, mushroom risotto, braised lentils, white bean stews and light pork recipes. Also serve with young goat cheeses.

2013 Tenuta Olim Bauda, Gavi del Comune di Gavi, Piedmont, Italy (O) 15.99/172.69

Based on the Cortese grape, Gavi is the Piedmont’s most celebrated white wine and one of only a handful of Italian white wines to be honored with full DOCG status. Olim Bauda’s 2013 Gavi – from the wine’s historical and superior subzone immediately around the town of Gavi – opens with a brilliant, green-accented lemon-gold color and aromas of grapefruit, jasmine, acacia and saline minerals. On the palate the Gavi leads with a crisp, juicy citrus fruit expression followed by suggestions of yellow plums, chamomile and quinine. The wine finishes crisp and lip-smackingly delicious with further hints of juicy citrus, crunchy minerals and appetizing echoes of bitter medicinal herbs. Drink this delicious and genre-defining Gavi young to capture the wine’s freshness, crispness and zip. Enjoy with golden trout, snapper, soups, vegetable frittatas, summer squashes, clams and halibut.

2013 Matteo Correggia, Roero Arneis, Piedmont, Italy (O) 15.99/172.69

The late Matteo Correggia was a guiding light for the renaissance of quality in the Roero, and his legacy shines brightly with this reference-standard Arneis. A brilliant lemon-gold color in the bowl, Correggia’s Arneis bursts with aromas of juicy peaches, golden apples, dissolved minerals and freshly grated ginger. Vibrant on the palate with lively acidity, smoky soil and waves of grapefruit, menthol, hops and white pepper, the wine bristles with acidic energy, appetizing bitterness and fresh floral top notes. The smoky soil signature re-emerges on the wine’s long, fresh finish. Enjoy this now and over the coming year, served with all things seafood, squashes, fresh cheeses and white pasta preparations. Superb, distinctive Arneis!

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

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

HOLIDAY CLOSURES:

• New Years Eve: we close
at 5:00 p.m.

• Closed: New Year’s Day

• Closed: Jan. 1-4.
Re-open on Monday, Jan. 5


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

Jan. 2 Closed for vacation – Happy New Year to all!

Jan. 16 Let’s start the new year off in a “Grand” way: A Grand Cru tasting of Chablis!

Feb. 6 Great wines from Austria. You will be yodeling!


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

Jan. 3 Closed for vacation – we re-open on Monday, Jan. 5

Jan. 10 From France: Henri Schoenheitz Pinot Blanc, Dom. de Chêne-Colombe Mâcon Villages, Dom. Alain Dumarcher Vent du Sud, Burle Vacqueyras, and Ch. Bernadotte Haut-Medoc.

Jan. 17 Italian beauties from the Piedmont: Matteo Correggia Roero Arneis, Olim Bauda Gavi, Vallana Spanna, and Cavallotto Dolcetto d’Alba Vigna Scot.

Jan. 24 From here and there: Daniel Vergnes Les Pentes de Barène, Dom. Demeure-Pinet Jacquère, Ch. St. Didier-Parnac Cahors, Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir, and C.V.N.E. Viña Real Crianza Rioja.

Jan. 31 More Italian Beauties: Pievalta Verdicchio, Mannucci Droandi Chianti Colli Aretini, Bellaria Rosso di Montalcino, and Cà del Fongo Valpolicella Classico Ripasso.


SPECIAL EVENTS:

BORDEAUX WINE DINNER

Chateau de Fieuzal Wine Dinner at Castagna Restaurant

Weds. Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Please join us and winemaker Stephen Carrier of Chateau de Fieuzal for an evening of great wines from the Pessac-Leognan region of Bordeaux. Portland’s superlative Castagna restaurant will prepare a multi-course menu to complement these great red and white wines.

The complete list of wines to be served is on our website. Reservations are available at L&E or online at our website. Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. $125 per person, inclusive.


DOMAINE WEINBACH TASTING
at Liner & Elsen

Tues., Feb. 10 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a comprehensive tasting of the 2013 wines from Domaine Weinbach, one of the most renown estates in Alsace, France. A complete list of wines to be served is on our website. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Fee: $50.

Reserve now

 

Happy New Year from the staff at Liner & Elsen!

We are closed Jan. 1-4; re-open on Monday, Jan. 1


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.