© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Availability and prices may have changed since the newsletter date.

AUGUST 2018 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

FRANCE

2016 Lionel Faury, Syrah, Collines Rhodaniennes, Northern Rhone Valley, France 19.99/215.89

The Collines Rhodaniennes IGP lies in France’s Northern Rhone Valley, just outside the boundaries of the famous Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, and St. Joseph appellations. Here visionary Cote-Rotie and Condrieu domaines such as Lionel Faury are restoring the noble Syrah to this forgotten terroir. Faury’s Syrah, from high-altitude vines above Saint-Joseph, opens with a classic Northern Rhone Syrah black-plum robe followed by delicious aromas of pepper bacon, cured meats, spicy blackberries, and leather. On the palate, the wine shows deep Saint-Joseph-like plum and black cherry fruit accented by salty, granitic minerals, smoke, lavender, and dried herbs. The wine finishes bright, juicy with vibrant acidity, and just enough chewy tannins to balance its exuberant fruit expression. This is terrific Northern Rhone Syrah that’s polished enough to take to your next barbecue while also being authentic and soil-driven enough to please even the most ardent aficionados of old-school Cornas and Saint-Joseph. Enjoy now and over the coming five with grilled lamb, braised rabbit, eggplant casseroles, and everyday fare like grilled burgers and pork loin.

2016 Vignoble Guillaume, Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays de Franche-Comte IGP, France 15.99/172.69

In the 1980s, Xavier Guillaume began crafting wines from his family’s expansive vineyard holdings between Burgundy and the Jura. Guillaume’s gorgeous 2016 Pinot Noir gleams a transparent garnet color followed by aromas of cranberries, dried orange peel, potpourri, and soft limestone minerals. Brisk acidity elevates the wine’s crunchy core of red Pinot fruit, which transitions mid-palate to reveal fascinating suggestions of blood oranges, Earl Grey tea, geraniums, and damp earth. Fine tannins sneak in as the wine finishes crisp and crunchy with layers of bright red berry and cherry fruit complicated by a persistent clay-limestone mineral undercurrent. A delicious, light, and appetizing Pinot to enjoy now and over the coming two years with poultry, rabbit, semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses, potatoes au gratin, and light pork preparations. Oregon Pinot fans: we think you’ll enjoy tasting this next to your favorite Wädenswil cuvee.

2016 Yves Guegniard, Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou Rouge, La Cerisaie,
Loire Valley, France (O) 15.99/172.69

Here’s a sensational find in Anjou Rouge and a stunning value to boot. Located in the heart of the Anjou’s Coteaux du Layon zone, the Domaine de la Bergerie crafts an exemplary portfolio of traditional red, white, and dessert wines. Led by Yves Guegniard’s daughter, Anne, the domaine is completing its conversion to organic viticulture, and the results are stunning. Domaine de la Bergerie’s 2016 Le Cerisaie, a blend of Cabernet Franc (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon, reflects an opaque purple-ruby robe followed by classic Anjou rouge aromas of perfumed soil, black currants, leather, and cinnamon. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, the La Cerisaie alternates waves of sour cherry and currant fruit backed by brisk acidity, smoky minerals, and tobacco. Fine tannins emerge to accent the wine’s tangy fruit expression and segue it to its long, savory finish. Pair it with all things off the barbecue this summer, and over the coming five years with hearty stews, braises, and earthy mushroom preparations.

2015 Chateau Laurou, Fronton, Tradition, Southwestern France (O) 11.99/129.49

Situated just north of Toulouse, the utterly distinctive wines of Fronton are garnering the recognition they richly deserve. Their secret ingredient is the Negrette grape, indigenous to Cyprus but most at home on the iron-rich quartz and gravel soils prevalent in this corner of France. Opaque crimson-garnet in the glass, Chateau Laurou’s Fronton Tradition explodes with a highly perfumed bouquet of violets, black raspberries, black cherries, sassafras, and ferrous terroir. Bright, zesty, plump, and appetizingly tannic on the palate, the wine casts impressions of star anise, Chinese five spice, and freshly crushed pink peppercorns. The 2015 Fronton finishes fresh, long, and driven by its spicy soil signature and a complex, compelling mix of violets, licorice, ferrous soil, and peppery cured meats. A perfect barbeque wine, pair this organic, gold medal-winning rouge now and over the coming two years with dry-rubbed ribs, sausages, grilled chicken, charcuterie, lentil dishes, and duck confit.

2015 J.L. Chave Selection, Cotes-du-Rhone, Mon Coeur, Rhone Valley, France (O) 19.99/215.89

Sourced primarily from superb sites in the prestigious Cotes-du-Rhone villages of Rasteau, Vinsobres, and Cairanne, the Chave Mon Coeur’s blend of Syrah and Grenache casts an opaque black plum hue in the glass followed by classic Southern Rhone aromas of figs, black cherries, cassis, black pepper, and herbal garrigue. Broad and intense on the attack, the wine offers bright herb, olive, and pepper-infused cherry, plum, and black currant fruit backed by firm tannins and hints of spicy cinnamon and black licorice. Notes of tobacco, garrigue, and peppery salumi join fine tannins as the wine lingers on the palate. Rhone Valley fans owe it to themselves to experience this wine. Enjoy now for its youthful vigor with full-bodied Southern French cuisine, and lay down a half case or more to allow the wine to mellow and flesh out over the coming decade.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 91 points

2010 Chateau Fontesteau Haut-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux, France
21.99/237.49

Located just three miles west of Pauillac, Chateau Fontesteau boasts superbly situated vineyards in the center of the Medoc peninsula. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (49%), Merlot (48%), and Cabernet Franc from the great 2010 Medoc vintage, the Fontesteau boasts a deep, mature claret robe and a classic Medoc bouquet of black currants, green herbs, cedar, graphite minerals, and vanilla bean. Lushly textured on the attack, the Fontesteau tightens to reveal soft tannins and the superb acidity of the vintage. Plump cassis and black raspberry fruit mingle with smoky barrel tones, notes of bitter chocolate, and reprises of fresh herbs as the wine lingers on the palate. A superb choice in authentic, classically-proportioned claret, Fontesteau’s 2010 is fully mature and ready for your table tonight with rib roasts of beef, lentils, roast duck, burgers, and recipes featuring earthy mushrooms. Limited: only twenty cases available.

ITALY

2000 Scarpa, Dolcetto d’Acqui, SelvaRossa, Vendemmia Tardiva, Piedmont, Italy (O) 19.99/215.89

Founded in 1854, the Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa is one of the grand but woefully unknown names in fine Piemontese wine. While the house is renowned for its long-aging Barolos and Barbarescos, it also crafts this incredibly delicious and lively 18-year-old Dolcetto. A deep and youthful crimson-tinged ruby color, Scarpa’s Dolcetto offers gorgeous secondary aromas of mushrooms, underbrush, licorice, and tar. Vibrant and lively on the palate, the Dolcetto’s mature texture layers perfectly aged Piemontese suggestions of saddle leather, tobacco, porcini mushrooms, and limestone dust. Full-bodied, dry, and stunningly complex, Scarpa’s Dolcetto finishes with chewy tannins framing the inner mouth with the sweetness and velvety texture that only time and patience can bring. Pair this genre-busting, late-harvest Dolcetto now and over the next decade with all things Piemontese: egg-rich tajarin with a butter and sage sauce, risotto con funghi, beef brasato, polenta and salumi. It well also pair well with roast chicken, burgers, and pan-seared pork chops. Twenty cases available.

2014 Secco-Bertani, Original Vintage Edition, Verona IGT, Veneto, Italy 22.99/248.29

The great Bertani estate’s Original Vintage Edition is a tribute to the great Veronese red wines crafted before the advent of Amarone and Ripasso techniques. Bertani’s original 1889 recipe calls for 80% of the blend to come from indigenous Corvina clones accented by Sangiovese Grosso, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep black cherry color in the glass, Secco-Bertani’s 2014 Original Vintage Edition bursts from the glass with haunting aromas of cherry skin, cassis, licorice, herbs and smoke. On the palate, the wine presents waves of lush bitter cherry fruit scented with gentian, Assam black tea, pipe tobacco, and mushrooms. Deep, serious, and palate staining without ever being heavy, the wine’s chewy tannins and delicious bitter edge frame and buoy its deep kernel of dark orchard fruits. The wine finishes with hints of the chestnut and cherry wood barrels in which it’s aged, mingling with bitter medicinal herbs and pure Bing cherry and currant fruit. Delicious now but with the poise and stuffing for many years of positive evolution in the cellar, we suggest pairing this with cured meats, semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses, eggplant Parmigiana, braised beef, and wild game. Fascinating wine!

2016 San Vincenti, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 15.99/172.69

This is a superb expression of sturdy, age-worthy Gaiole Chianti from Chianti Classico’s far southeastern sector. San Vincenti’s soil is said to resemble that of Montalcino, which gives San Vincenti’s Chiantis full-bodied, rich fruit and impressively firm structures. Both are on display in the delicious 2016 vintage. Opaque black plum-ruby in the glass, San Vincenti’s 2016 Chianti Classico conveys a bouquet of gamy cherry fruit accented by lovely overtones of leather, button mushrooms, and dried herbs. Delicious tangy plum and black cherry fruit greet the palate before yielding to a food-friendly dose of firm tannins, brisk acidity and undercurrents of dusty limestone minerality. Herbal tobacco notes play with peppery tannins on the wine’s long plum, cherry, and licorice-tinged finish. Enjoy the wine now and over the coming seven years with hearty fare like pizza, pasta, grilled Porterhouse steak, grilled eggplant, and portobello mushrooms.


WHITE WINES

CANADA

2015 Norman Hardie, Chardonnay, Unfiltered, Niagara Peninsula VQA,
Ontario, Canada 21.99/237.49 reg 32.99

Before founding his own estate in 2003 in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Norman Hardie worked as an apprentice with the very best winemakers in Burgundy, South Africa, Oregon, New Zealand, and California. Hardie’s 2015 unfiltered Chardonnay gleams with the green-gold brilliance of a great Chablis followed by Puligny-like aromas of raw hazelnuts, pear skin, smoky oak, and limestone minerals. Fresh and zippy on the palate, Hardie’s Chardonnay first presents a blast of electric acidity before broadening to reveal classy impressions of Meyer lemon zest, pate brisee, and salty limestone soil. Impressively long, the Chardonnay finishes zippy, clean, and refreshing, leaving a Chablis-like dusting of limestone minerals on the lips and cheeks. At 11.9% alcohol, this is a wonderful summertime Chardonnay that will please New World palates with its lovely lemony fruit and its resonant barrel tones. Ardent Chablis and Burgundy aficionados alike will enjoy its lithe texture and brilliant limestone soil signature. This is a wine to buy by the case for enjoyment now and over the coming five years with roast chicken, halibut, white-fleshed freshwater fish dishes and young chevres. Don’t miss this out-of-the-ordinary selection! Limited.

AUSTRIA

2015 Martin & Anna Arndorfer, Gruner Veltliner, Strasser Weinberge, Niederosterreich, Austria (S) 19.99/215.89

Arndorfer’s Strasser Weinberge Gruner Veltliner is sourced from the estimable Strasser Gaisberg, Wechselberg, and Hasel vineyards and is fermented and aged on wild yeasts in large barrels and stainless steel. The 2015 cuvee casts a deep straw-gold color followed by a bouquet bursting with impressions of sweet peas, ripe pear, peach, green pineapple, and smoky loess minerals. The palate is packed with myriad fleshy orchard fruit impressions backed by smoky minerals and earthy notes of white pepper and green lentils. On the finish, the wine’s native yeasts add a compelling malty, Belgian lambic-like note that makes this one of the most fascinating Gruners in a long time. Full and mineral-driven, this offering from Arndorfer delivers tons of flavor and satisfaction. Enjoy it now or over the coming two years with sauteed green vegetables, grilled zucchini, braised pork, and roast chicken.

FRANCE

2011 Michel et Nathalie Delhommeau, Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie,
Clos Armand, Loire Valley, France (O) 17.99/194.29

Michel and Nathalie Delhommeau farm twenty-eight hectares in the classic Muscadet region. Their Clos Armand vineyard was planted in 1945 on soils primarily comprised of weathered gabbro – a type of coarse grained basalt. Due to the age of the vines and the terroir, Clos Armand tends to be the richest and most voluminous of Delhommeau’s Muscadets. A gleaming lemon-gold in the glass, Delhommeau’s Clos Armand soars with salty, mineral-driven aromas of lemon oil, gunflint, iodine, and briny oyster shells. Now entering its peak drinking window, the wine’s texture is impressively resinous while still sporting the riveting acidic backbone we so adore in great Muscadet. Notes of white grapefruit, Anjou pear, and lemongrass mingle with impressions of salty sea air and perfumed minerality. Long and savory, the wine finishes extraordinarily fresh, vivacious, and clean, and begs you to slurp another Belon oyster, Littleneck clam, or mussel; to take another bite of Dungeness crab; or to feast on sole in a beurre blanc sauce. Gorgeous Muscadet, and a great buy in mature, intensely mineral, soil-driven white wine!

ITALY

2016 Az. Ag. Chiusa Grande, Indie Cuvees, Lunedi Bianco, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy (O) 16.99/183.49

The Indie Cuvees program was born out of a passion to financially support small, independent, organic vignerons. Selecting special cuvees from organic producers and bottling them under their label, Indie Cuvees presents top-notch, affordable, artisanal wines that offer terrific value to consumers. The 2016 Lunedi Bianco is a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo that sings with color, character, value and authenticity. A deep lemon-gold hue, the wine presents delicious mineral-driven aromas of yellow apple, iodine, crushed almonds, and meadow flowers. Lithe and resinous on the palate, the Lunedi Bianco seamlessly meshes a gorgeous kernel of golden apple, Meyer lemon, and Anjou pear fruit lifted by bristling acidity and a deep mineral undercurrent. The wine finishes fresh and generous with appetizing suggestions of smoky minerals and savory botanical herbs. This superb cuvee confirms the greatness of the Trebbiano grape and begs to be paired now and over the coming three years with the freshest seafood, deep-fried zucchini blossoms, fresh chevres, and white lasagnas with a bechamel sauce.

2017 Terredora Dipaolo, Falanghina, Corte du Giso, Irpinia, Campania, Italy 15.99/172.69

Falanghina is one of southern Italy’s most historic and noble white wine grapes, known for its floral, tropical fruit, and piquant soil aromas. Brilliant lemon-gold with green highlights, Terredora’s Falanghina conveys beguiling scents of orange blossoms, yellow melon, tarte tatin, and a whisper of volcanic minerals. On the palate, Terredora’s Falanghina presents suggestions of green pineapple, Mirabelle plums, sage, and smoky minerals. The wine finishes fresh and snappy with complex notes of quince, lemon zest, and juniper berries, lifted by brisk acidity and a smoky mineral expression. Very versatile at the table, this superb Falanghina can be enjoyed now and over the coming two years with sushi, clams, mussels, squid, and vegetarian and seafood pasta dishes sporting lots of fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil. The 2017 gets our vote for Terredora Dipaolo’s finest Falanghina to date!

2017 Marchetti, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Tenuta del Cavaliere, Marches, Italy 15.99/172.69

Marchetti’s incredibly expressive Verdicchio Classico Superiore opens with deep impressions of sweet snap peas, apricots, fruitwood smoke, tarragon, and freshly ground white pepper. On the palate, the wine conveys an impressively concentrated kernel of pear skin, yellow plum, and star fruit backed by brisk acidity, a smoky mineral undercurrent, and suggestions of oolong tea, candied ginger, and jasmine. Full bodied and penetrating, yet balanced and elegant, Marchetti’s powerful Verdicchio begs for rich vegetarian recipes and steak-type fish dishes. Pair it now and over the coming five years with hearty fare that calls for a bold white wine. Think swordfish, fresh albacore tuna, rabbit, zucchini gratin, white pizzas, and pastas dressed with olive oil, garlic, and summer vegetables.

SPAIN

2017 Arregi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 15.99/172.69

Following up on last month’s smashing success with Arregi’s Txakoli rosado, we’re delighted to present Portland’s first and most beloved Txakoli blanco. Hailing from Txakoli’s easternmost outpost, Getariako Txakolina, Arregi’s beautiful, pale green-tinted 2017 Txakoli is in classic form this vintage. Saline-driven aromas of kaffir lime, fresh bay leaf, tarragon, and sea breeze introduce a bright and zesty palate bursting with snappy expressions of green plums, Pippin apples, and juniper berries. Brisk, zippy, and saline on the finish, the wine adds notes of pear skin, white grapefruit, quinine, and cardamom pods. 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, vegetarians, and pescatarians who would love to have a vinous complement for their summer vegetables and fresh seafood. Enjoy this beauty all summer long and into the fall to capture its youthful brightness and vigor.

2016 Finca Sabate I Coca, Castellroig, SO Blanc, Xarel-lo, Penedes, Spain
18.99/205.09

Xarel-lo, one of Spain's finest white-wine varieties, is largely responsible for the age-worthiness of the finest Cavas. The esteemed Finca Sabate I Coca estate is spotlighting the Xarel-lo as its key variety to transmit and magnify the estate’s many varying terroirs. A bright straw color, the wine casts fascinating aromas of Anjou pear, linden blossom, and quinine. The SO Blanc presents a full yet incisive palate marked by nuances of shaved fennel, quince, botanical herbs, and dark soil minerality. Taut and tensile on the finish, the wine shows superb cut and soil transparency as its piquant mineral undercurrent propels reprises of pear, tilleul, and juicy fennel. This is a superb Xarel-lo that affirms the variety’s stature as one of Spain’s greatest white wine grapes. Pair now and over the coming four years with seafood and vegetable tapas, paellas, escargots, and grilled albacore tuna.

ROSE WINES

GERMANY

2017 Seehof, Pinot Noir, Rose Trocken, Rheinhessen, Germany 14.99/161.89

We love this wine’s combination of its brilliant, incisive core of orchard and berry fruit and the lightness, delicacy, and freshness that keeps you coming back sip after sip, glass after glass. Seehof’s superb 2017 dry rose gleams from the glass with pale salmon and onion skin reflections, followed by a limestone-infused bouquet of earthy cranberries, Rainier cherries, and dried herbs. Bone dry on the palate, the 2017 rose exhibits impressive lightness and deftness while also expressing a delicious melange of tart apple, white peach, and green strawberry fruit. Enjoy this beauty all summer long and into fall by itself and as a lovely foil for sushi, sashimi, broiled salmon, barbecued chicken and ribs, and grilled summer veggies.

ITALY

2017 Antoniolo, Gattinara Rosato, Bricco Lorella, Piedmont, Italy (O) 15.99/172.69

Antoniolo is without question one of the pioneers and greatest estates in the Alto Piemonte. Their organic practices and superb viticulture inform a portfolio of wines that express deep minerality, tension, and long aging potential. The 2017 Bricco Lorella, named for the proprietor, is a blend of Nebbiolo (90%) and Bonarda and Vespolina grown within the esteemed Gattinara zone. A bright, orange-tinted salmon color, the wine opens with earthy scents of currants, violets, tobacco, and sage. Brisk and dry on the palate, a riveting mineral current runs through a pure kernel of blood orange and pie cherry fruit. Juicy, floral, and soil-driven, this delicious, earthy, vigorous rosato drinks like a fresh, light red wine with the grace and delicacy of a great white. Pair this versatile selection with roast poultry, grilled chicken and pork, light vegetarian pastas, and Piemontese cheeses like Toma Piemontese, Bra Duro, and Castelmagno.

LINER & ELSEN
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FRIDAY TASTINGS:

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

Aug. 3 - Great reds, whites, and sparkling wines from the Jura

Aug. 17 - Taste brilliant red and white wines from Campania, Italy

Sept. 7 - The Greek Wine Revolution: It ain’t just Retsina!



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

Weekly; 12-4:30 p.m. No fee

Aug. 4 - Joe Swick will be on hand to pour his distinctive Oregon wines. Plus, from Spain: Arregi Getariako Txakolina, and Finca Sabate I Coca Castellroig SO Blanc Xarel-lo.

Aug. 11 - From France: M. Delhommeau Muscadet Clos Armand, Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir, Dom. de la Bergerie Anjou Rouge, Ch. Laurou Fronton, J.L. Chave Selection Cotes-du-Rhone Mon Coeur, and Lionel Faury Syrah.

Aug 18 - Italian Beauties: Antoniolo Rosato Bricco Lorella, Chiusa Grande Lunedi Bianco Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Terredora Dipaolo Falanghina Corte du Giso, Scarpa Dolcetto d’Acqui SelvaRossa, and Secco-Bertani Original Vintage Edition.

Aug. 25 - Wines from here and there: Norman Hardie Chardonnay Unfiltered (Canada), Seehof Pinot Noir Rose Trocken (Germany), Arndorfer Gruner Veltliner Strasser Weinberge (Austria), Marchetti Tenuta del Cavaliere Verdicchio and San Vincenti Chianti Classico (Italy), and Ch. Fontesteau Haut-Medoc (France).



SPECIAL EVENT THIS MONTH:

SELLA & MOSCA WINE TASTING
Tues., Aug. 7  6:00-7:15 P.M.

Join our guest, Alfonso Gagliano, for an informal tasting of the red and white wines from Sardinia’s most famous winery.

Reservations are not necessary. Tasting fee: $10.

 


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.