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

 

JULY 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2015 Ayres, Gamay Noir, Chehalem Mountain, Oregon (S) 19.99/215.89

Winemaker-owner Brad McLeroy of Ayres Vineyard has just-released his 2015 Gamay Noir, a single-vineyard selection from the Palimpsest Vineyard on Chehalem Mountain’s gentle slope. Like Ayres’ exemplary Pinots, the Gamay bursts with a fresh kernel of red berry fruit that sings with energy, purity, and unbridled deliciousness. A crimson-tinged garnet in the bowl, Ayres’ Gamay conveys a peppery, cranberry nose followed by beautiful loganberry and cherry fruit on the palate. Overtones of cinnamon, freshly-ground black pepper, and baking spices emerge on the wine’s long, savory finish. Bright, spicy, and delicious from the moment it’s poured, this exceptional Oregon Gamay is ready to enjoy now and over the next three years with grilled salmon, roast chicken, pan-seared pork chops, boudin blanc, and hearty vegetarian fare featuring oyster or cremini mushrooms.

2013 Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Pinot Noir, Laurene, Dundee Hills, Oregon 64.99/666.79

We have to say: the 2013 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Laurene ranks with the very best wine Veronique Drouhin has made since the winery started in 1988! Aromatically, notes of strawberries and raspberries mingle with cherrywood, clay, cinnamon, dried rose petals, herbs, and vanillin. As lovely as the nose is, it’s the complexity on the palate that seals the deal. Texturally the wine is, simply, elegant and suave. The tannins are well integrated, and the bright and sharp acidity balances the crisp, vivid fruit to create a beautifully harmonious wine. On the palate, many of the notes promised by the aroma become evident with additions of black pepper, blood orange, earth, and Maraschino cherries. When the wine is first opened it is tightly coiled, but with decanting the wine begins to unfurl its complexity and beautiful texture. And the coup de grace is the lengthy finish, filled with great complexity. Decant to drink now and over the next 10-15 years.
- Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Report: 93 points

2015 Cameron, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Dundee, Oregon 23.99/259.09

We loved the 2014 edition of this wine; we are wowed by the 2015! The fruit for the 2015 is brighter, slightly more crisp, and even more lively. The 2015 Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is a blend of barrels from both the great Abbey Ridge vineyard (70%) and estate fruit from the renown Clos Electrique vineyard. The wine possesses a lovely nose of black and red cherries, red Dundee clay earthiness, violets, roses, herbs, and hints of citrus. On the palate, clay soil notes dominate and mingle with blue-black plum skin alongside black and red cherry fruit and pepper spice. The wine’s ample structure is buttressed by grippy tannins and superb acidity. The finish is long and balanced, with an additional brambly, woodsy undertone that complements the luscious fruit. Enjoy this superb Oregon Pinot now and over the next seven to ten years.

2015 Mellen Meyer, Pinot Noir, Whistling Ridge Vineyard, Ribbon Ridge, Oregon (S) 19.99/215.89

Mellen Meyer winemaker, Bobby Rowett, worked with Marcus Goodfellow at Matello and Goodfellow Cellars before launching his own label in 2013. Mellen Meyer focuses primarily on methode champenoise sparkling wines, but in 2015 fashioned a mere 200 cases of this terrific Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir. Crafted with the deft touch we so enjoy in Goodfellow’s Pinots, this beauty shows remarkable brightness and lift in what was a very warm Oregon vintage. Casting a lovely garnet color, Mellen Meyer’s 2015 Pinot opens with fresh aromas of red raspberries, currants, cola, wintergreen, and dusty earth. Fine, dusting tannins frame the wine’s fleshy core of cherry and black raspberry fruit and segue it to a fresh, herbal finish that begs to be paired with food. Suave and layered on the palate, Mellen Meyer’s Whistling Ridge Pinot drinks fabulously well today, and will continue to evolve for another three to five years in your cool cellar. Enjoy with simple roast chicken, grilled Chinook salmon, pan-roasted quail, squash sautees, and young chevres.

FRANCE

2013 Domaine des Forges, Anjou-Villages, Les 3C, Vignoble Branchereau,
Loire Valley, France (S) 11.99/129.49

A blend of Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon sourced from the estate’s finest terroirs on the high plateaus of Saint-Aubin-de-Luigne, Forges’ Les 3C is a brilliant representation of the noble Cabernets as expressed on the incomparable shale soils of the Anjou. Translucent black-ruby in the glass, the cuvee Les 3C casts aromas of black plums, dried leaves, cured meat, black pepper and herbs. Impeccably balanced on the palate, the wine alternates waves of black currants, plum skin, plentiful fine tannins, leafy underbrush, and smoky soil notes. Spicy and peppery on the finish, the 3C presents further suggestions of black tea, button mushrooms, menthol, and salty minerals. Firmly structured with chewy tannins, the wine is delicious and savory today, but conveys the poise and balance to reward three to five years’ aging in your cool cellar. Pair this superb and comfortably priced Anjou-Villages with cured meats, aged goat cheeses, braised rabbit and pork dishes, and grilled beef.

2011 Olga Raffault, Chinon, Les Picasses, Loire Valley, France (S) 19.99/215.89

Olga Raffault’s flagship vineyard, Les Picasses, is a parcel of sixty-year-old Cabernet Franc vines that produce a dense, earthy, ruby-colored wine reminiscent of dark cherries, dried herbs, and minerals. Legendary for its ability to age (try the 1977, 1979 or 1985 should you have the chance), Raffault’s 2011 shows the vineyard at its most precocious and approachable. The bouquet conveys classic Chinon expressions of cherry skin, tobacco, gravelly minerals, and bay leaf. Soft and approachable with chewy black currant fruit on the fore-palate, the wine focuses to reveal nuances of button mushrooms, blond leather, cigar tobacco, licorice, and a shimmering undercurrent of clay-gravel soil. Fine tannins enter mid-palate to provide impressive structure and poise. Long, complex, and earthy on the finish, the Picasses is immensely pleasurable now but has the stuffing for three to seven years’ evolution in your cool cellar. Pair with roast shoulder of pork, chicken, duck, or fresh chevres.

2015 Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence, Provence, France (O) 13.99/151.09

Farming organically since 1975, Mas de Gourgonnier assembles their best lots of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carignan to fashion this always-delicious Provençal cuvee. A beautiful translucent black-ruby color, Mas de Gourgonnier’s 2015 casts perfumed aromas of black raspberries, sandalwood, lavender, cinnamon, and leather. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, savory tannins and earthy notes of game, leather, coffee, and black trumpet mushrooms complement the wine’s generous core of fleshy cherry and black raspberry fruit. Modest tannins, brown spices, and crunchy currant fruit segue the wine to its long garrigue-accented finish. This is a classically styled Provençal rouge that will serve as a lovely partner for all things Provençal, especially daubes of lamb or beef, roast squab, braised rabbit, and potato, mushroom, and eggplant-based vegetarian fare. Enjoy now and over the next three to five years.

2014 Burle, Gigondas, Les Fouilles, Southern Rhone Valley, France (O)
18.99/205.09

Burle’s portfolio of lusty, full-throttle Southern Rhone reds is legendary in Portland. Crafted from 40-year old Grenache and Syrah vines, Burle’s 2014 Les Fouilles is spicy, approachable, and delicious. A translucent ruby color in the glass, the 2014 Les Fouilles casts warm, inviting aromas of Provençal cherries, cinnamon, bay leaf, and leather. Vibrant, chewy cherry and black raspberry fruit greets the palate alongside hints of sweet cinnamon, black pepper, and lavender pastille. Fine, savory tannins sneak in and help segue the wine to its long, satisfying finish featuring reprises of red stone fruits, tobacco, and herbal garrigue. This is superb Gigondas, beautifully polished, balanced, and focused. Drink now and over the coming decade with beef stews, classic leg of lamb, ratatouille, and grilled eggplant.

ITALY

2015 Putzenhof, Bozner Leiten, Sudtirol, Alto Adige, Italy (S) 15.99/172.69

The Alto Adige’s tiny Sudtirol Bozner Leiten (or Colli di Bolzano DOC) located just south of Bolzano is a cool, subalpine zone distinguished for its superb expressions of the Schiava grape. Putzenhof’s classic Bozner Leiten blend of Schiava (85%), Lagrein, and Pinot Noir yields a pale cherry-colored wine with glorious scents of red rose petals, pomegranate seeds, tar, and menthol. Buoyant and vibrant on the palate, the wine’s zesty expression of light red fruits marries seamlessly with earthy minerals and floral violet petal overtones. With its alpine softness, lightness, and freshness, this is a stunning choice for a summertime red that can take a chill and provide the substance of a red wine with the refreshment of a fine rose. Buy a case for serving now and over the coming two years with grilled squashes, pork tenderloin, broiled salmon, roast chicken, or to sip all by itself and enjoy the wine’s sublime balance of lightness, refreshment, and soulfulness.

2013 Fanti, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy (S) 14.99/161.89

Montalcino’s esteemed Fanti estate is celebrated for its superb Brunello and this delicious, under-the-radar and most affordable Rosso di Montalcino. Crafted from Sangiovese fruit, Fanti’s Rosso shows a beautiful ruby robe followed by scents of Bing cherries, red currants, leather, violets, and dusty earth. Cool and reserved on the attack, the wine fleshes out mid-palate to reveal a brilliant core of cherry and currant fruit accented by notes of tobacco, licorice, herbs, and perfumed earth. Long and vibrant on the finish, Fanti’s Rosso lifts its tangy red-fruited core with fine-grained tannins and buoying acidity. Effortlessly balancing chewy red fruits with a firm, framing structure, this Rosso drinks well now with hearty fare like T-bone steaks, eggplant parmigiana, and pork braises, but will reward three to five years’ patient aging with added complexity and texture. Classic Rosso di Montalcino!

2013 Vignalta, Colli Euganei, Rosso, Venda, Veneto, Italy 12.50/135.00

We’re delighted to again feature Vignalta’s Venda Rosso, a terrific Right Bank-inspired blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the highest altitude vineyard site in the Veneto’s Colli Euganei zone. A translucent crimson-garnet color in the glass, Vignalta’s Venda Rosso offers a cool, inviting bouquet of sour cherries, dried herbs, violet petals, and clay earth. Brisk and vibrant on the palate, the Venda rosso presents a core of spicy cherry and red plum fruit framed by brisk acidity and complex suggestions of tobacco, cedar, bay leaves, and Serrano peppers. An earthy, clay-driven soil signature reemerges on the wine’s long pie cherry, currant, and herb-tinged finish. Harmonious and elegant, this is a compelling blend with bright, vibrant fruit, Old World grace, and world-class affordability. Serve this beauty now and over the coming five years with all red meats, poultry, game, and stews rich in beans.

ROSE WINES


OREGON

2016 Cameron Winery, Pinot Grigio, Ramato, Dundee Hills, Oregon (S)
23.99/259.09

Ramato, which takes its name from the Italian word for copper, refers to a white or light rose wine vinified on its skins like a red. Ramatos have a long and storied history in Northeastern Italy, and this is a superb example of the genre – with an Oregonian twist. Casting a beautiful copper-tinted salmon color, Cameron’s Ramato casts high-toned, wild yeast-driven aromas of golden raspberries, apricots, rhubarb, and mesquite. Fascinatingly scented and full of personality, Cameron’s Ramato continues with a palate filled with fleshy Rainier cherry fruit, tangy saline minerals, and honeycomb. On the finish, the wine offers notes of cherry fruit, light tannins, and waves of untamed wildness that only the irrepressible John Paul could conjure. Enjoy over the next year or two with salmon sashimi, baby back ribs, barbecued chicken, and Hawaiian pizza.

FRANCE

2016 Les Vignobles Foncalieu, Picque Poul, Rose, Coteaux d’Enserune IGP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (S) 13.99/151.09

Rare as hen’s teeth, only 250 acres of the historically important Piquepoul Noir remain in production. One of the thirteen grapes permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Foncalieu’s Picque Poul rose is produced from a single grower’s five-acre hillside vineyard in Cazouls, just inland from the Mediterranean. A pale salmon color in the glass, Foncalieu’s rose casts aromas of white peaches, white currants, and tart cantaloupe. Crisp and zingy on the palate, the rose shows notes of gooseberries, green plums, and strawberries lifted by juicy acidity. Zippy, fresh, and bright, the wine finishes clean and uplifting with finishing notes of herbal garrigue, fennel fronds, tangerine pith, and chalky minerals. Enjoy this rare and unusually distinctive rose over the warm weather months with crab pastas, rare ahi, sashimi, sauteed summer squashes, fresh chevres, and beef tartare.

2016 Chateau Font du Broc, Cotes de Provence, Rose, Provence, France (CO) 17.99/194.29

This is one heck of a fine rose from the spiritual home of the genre, Provence. A certified organic blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Rolle (Vermentino), Font du Broc’s rose is one of the most beautifully colored and aromatic roses of the season. A pale salmon hue in the glass, Font du Broc’s rose casts subtle scents of bitter orange zest, currants, wild Provençal garrigue, and arid, chalky earth. Fleshy and full on the palate, the Font du Broc rose adds spice-tinged notes of yellow cherries, blood oranges, honeysuckle blossoms, and saline minerals. Impeccably balanced with a fleshy kernel of orchard fruits lifted by chalky minerals, zesty acidity, and a sprinkling of fresh Provençal herbs, this is wine to buy by the case to enjoy now and over the coming year and a half. Serve with sushi, sashimi, sauteed sea snails, Mediterranean pasta preparations, barbecued chicken, broiled pork, and grilled summer vegetables. With so many Provençal roses fetching historical price levels, this is your value play of the season and a wine that will hold its own against examples at twice its price.


WHITE WINES


FRANCE

2015 Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Clos des Allees, Loire Valley, France 15.99/172.69

Here is Muscadet at its most satisfying: rich, crisp, minerally and exceedingly soil transparent. Year after year, our favorite of Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin’s offering is their single-vineyard Clos des Allees offering from 45-year-old vines grown on mica-schist soils. The warm, generous 2015 vintage takes the Clos des Allees to new heights. Pale straw with green highlights, Luneau-Papin’s 2015 Clos des Allees offers mineral-infused aromas of Bartlett pears and lemon zest. On the palate, the wine walks the delicate balance of snappy acidity, saline minerals, and richness of fruit. Suggestions of freshly squeezed lime juice, green tea, and smoky soil appear on the back-palate and propel the Clos des Allees to a long, mineral-driven finish. Grab a case to drink now and over the next fifteen years with sauteed green vegetables, clams, oysters, perch, sole, halibut, crab, and other fruits de mer.
-David Schildknecht, Vinous: 92 points

2015 Francis Blanchet, Pouilly-Fume, Cuvee Silice, Loire Valley, France
18.99/205.09

For many aficionados, silex- or flint-rich soils are the ultimate terroir for the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Francis Blanchet’s Cuvee Silice hails from the domaine’s most flint-rich parcels, which imbue the wine with an ineffable smoky (fume) expression. A limpid lemon-gold in the glass, Blanchet’s Cuvee Silice bursts from the glass with gorgeous aromas of lime zest, grapefruit, honeysuckle blossoms, juniper, and gunflint. Showing perfect balance on the palate, the wine expresses vibrant notes of lime juice, lemon zest, white grapefruit, freshly grated ginger, and flinty minerals. Long, juicy, and deliciously lithe, Blanchet’s Cuvee Silice finishes with added suggestions of green apple skin, mint, quinine, and another lashing of silex terroir. Enjoy this extraordinary Pouilly-Fume now and over the coming three years with trout amandine, perch in a beurre blanc sauce, pan-roasted monkfish, clams or mussels, fresh chevres, and asparagus in a hollandaise sauce.

ITALY

2016 Monte Tondo, Garganega, Frizzante, Veneto, Italy 10.50/113.40

The superb Monte Tondo estate, whose delicious Soaves and Corvinas have graced these pages in multiple times past, presents one of the greatest ideas in modern gastronomy: a frizzante Garganega! A pale, almost Txakoli-clear green-gold hue, Monte Tondo’s lightly sparkling wine presents fresh, saline-driven aromas of Key lime juice, white peach flesh, and crushed rye berries. On the palate, crunchy suggestions of fresh celery, green almonds, and pear skin mingle with salty minerals, zippy acidity, and deliciously vivifying petillance. Clean, zesty, oh-so-refreshing, and designed for immediate enjoyment, pair this now and over the warm summer months with all forms of shellfish, seafood pastas, green vegetables, or serve it as a low-alcohol afternoon picnic wine that will keep you refreshed and sharp for the evening ahead.

2015 Montenidoli, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Tradizionale, Tuscany, Italy (O) 16.99/183.49

Vernaccia stands alone as Tuscany’s premier white wine, and finds its singular voice in the predominately sandy soils around the medieval hillside village of San Gimignano. This bold, rich, long-macerated Vernaccia from Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s Montenidoli domaine shows the serious, age-worthy side of the much beloved appellation. A deep golden hue in the bowl, Montenidoli’s 2015 Tradizionale casts aromas of pear skin, golden apples, quinine, and dried oregano. Brisk and intense, the wine melds chewy pear fruit with suggestions of bay leaf, dried orange peel, ginger, and citrusy hops. The finish is long and tactile, with added notes of raw almonds, beeswax, and straw. Serve Montenidoli’s Tradizionale now or over the coming four years with poultry, pork, and game birds, grilled prawns, and warm-water fishes. It will also pair well with difficult green vegetables like asparagus and artichokes, as well as with salty cheeses such as Pecorino. This superb, genre-busting Vernaccia raises the bar for the denominazione: brava Signora Fagiuoli!

2016 Marchetti, Tenuta del Cavaliere, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Superiore, Marches, Italy 13.99/151.09

The mineral-rich soils of the Classico Superiore sector of the Marches’ Castelli di Jesi zone imbue the finest Verdicchios with extra complexity and a deeply etched soil signature. A deep golden color in the bowl, Marchetti’s expressive Verdicchio Classico Superiore opens with suggestions of sweet snap peas, tarragon, star fruit, fruitwood smoke, and freshly ground white pepper. On the palate, the wine’s fruit and deep mineral undercurrent yield to a concentrated kernel of pear skin, yellow plum, and star fruit backed by brisk acidity and suggestions of Oolong tea, candied ginger, and bitter almond skin. Full-bodied and intense yet balanced and elegant, Marchetti’s Verdicchio begs for rich vegetarian recipes and fish steaks. Pair it now and over the coming five years with hearty fare that calls for a bold white wine, such as swordfish, fresh albacore tuna, rabbit, zucchini casseroles, white pizzas, and pastas dressed with olive oil and garlic, and summer vegetables.

PORTUGAL

2015 Cazas Novas, Vinho Verde, Escolha Avesso, Portugal 13.99/151.09

Cazas Novas’ granite-rich vineyards are inland and warmer than most of the rest of the Vinho Verde. The resulting style of wine is much broader, riper, and more mouth-filling, while still capturing Vinho Verde’s insistent minerality and fresh acidity. Lemon gold in the bowl, Cazas Novas’ Avesso blossoms with a beautifully floral bouquet alongside suggestions of peaches, grapefruit, and yellow plums. Crisp and juicy on the palate, the Avesso juxtaposes a crunchy core of stone and citrus fruit with bristling acidity and a brilliant undercurrent of granite minerality. Coiled, poised, fresh, and packed with character, The’ Avesso finishes clean and zesty with granite-infused lemon and green pineapple fruit. Enjoy now and over the coming two years with green vegetables, white pastas, and everything from the sea. This is serious Vinho Verde, and a steal for its tariff!

SPAIN

2016 Arregi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

Arregi, Portland’s first and most beloved Txakoli, hails from the easternmost outpost of Txakoli called Getariako Txakolina. Pale green-tinted lemon-gold in color, Arregi’s 2016 Txakoli offers saline-driven aromas of lime oil, fresh bay leaf, tarragon, and sea breeze. Fresh and still sporting an appetizing dose of dissolved CO2, Arregi’s bright and zesty palate expression suggests green plums, gooseberries, and sappy juniper berries. Brisk and saline on the finish, the wine adds notes of white grapefruit, quinine, and crushed 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 who crave a vinous complement for their summer market vegetables. And be sure to try this paired with any seafood with a shell! Enjoy this beauty all summer long and into the fall to capture its youthful brightness and vigor.

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

July 7
Why Roses matter: Rose wines from around the world.

July 21
Come find out why we love Chardonnay from Chablis!

Aug. 4
Ahhh! Cool off with white wines from Croatia.


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

July 1
All From Oregon:
Cameron Winery Pinot Grigio Ramato, Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Dom. Drouhin Laurène, Ayres Gamay Noir, and Mellen Meyer Pinot Noir Whistling Ridge.

July 8
From Italy:
Monte Tondo Garganega Frizzante, Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano Tradizionale, Putzenhof Südtirol, and Vignalta Venda Colli Euganei Rosso.

July 15
From France:
Dom. Pierre Luneau-Papin Clos des Allées Muscadet, Les Vignobles Foncalieu Picque Poul Rosé, Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Mas de Gourgonnier, and Burle Gigondas Les Fouilles.

July 22
Join the folks from Oregon’s Amalie Roberts and Phelps Creek Winery.

From France
: Ch. Font du Broc Côtes de Provence Rosé, F. Blanchet Pouilly-Fumé Cuvée Silice, and Dom. des Forges Anjou-Villages Les 3C.

July 29
From Iberia
: Arregi Getariako Txakolina, and Cazas Novas Avesso. From Italy: Marchetti Tenuta del Cavaliere Verdicchio, and Fanti Rosso di Montalcino.


SPECIAL EVENT AT L&E

A Comprehensive Tasting
of Austrian Wines
from Weingut Knoll


Tuesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Please join for what promises to be a great evening of Austrian wines from Emmerich Knoll in the Wachau. The Wachau wines are considered to be the greatest wines made in Austria, and Weingut Knoll is among the very top wineries.

We will serve a comprehensive selection of Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings (dry) that will startle you! The full list of wines to be tasted is on our website.

Seating is limited and pre-payment reserves your seat. Fee per person: $50. Reserve online

 



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.